Harvey Lewis, Badwater ultramarathon winner, shares his love of life

CINCINNATI -- A decade ago Harvey Lewis had the scare of his life. He was in pain, his future uncertain after having his neck broken in a car accident.

On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Lewis set a new record at the Badwater Ultramarathon by running 135 miles in 23 hours, 52 minues and 55 seconds.

The course wound its way through the Asna Boerrego desert and included three mountains.

“Each of those mountains is about 30 or 40 Mount Adams placed together,” Lewis says.

And Lewis knows Mount Adams. The Cincinnati School of Performing and Creative Arts social study teachers ran just about everywhere locally to get to where he is in the running world.

“"It's the first year I ran to school or walked if I couldn't run or biked or skied or snow-shoed or kayaked every day throughout the year," he says.

Cincinnati’s running community erupted online with congratulations and admiration the day Lewis won Badwater. For Lewis, who thanked his support crew and fans at the end of the grueling race, it was just another day.

He woke up the next morning, skipped his flight home, and summited nearby Mount Whitney. That’s 14,500 feet up hill after the 135 miles.

For good measure, he threw in a 42 mile run around the rim of the Grand Canyon before deciding to venture home.

During that time10 years ago, when Lewis was recovering, he said vowed to live each day to the fullest.

As a matter of fact, Lewis really doesn’t believe in sitting still, not pushing his body further than most people think their bodies can go.

"I do it because I love the experience of challenging myself, to push myself to limits," he says.
 

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