Harvey Lewis: Cincinnati’s inspirational elite ultramarathon runner


Photo courtesy Tracey Outlaw

I’m sure it’s the same for many places across the country, but Cincinnati feels particularly unique with its strong running community and elite athletes.

One of the most popular locals is ultra-marathoner Harvey Lewis. A social studies teacher, Lewis appeared in November’s Runner’s World Magazine after winning the Badwater Ultra 135 in July.

I was glued to Facebook July 22 as friends updated Lewis’s progression through Lonely Pine, California. In scorching temps and varying terrain Lewis wore a smile in every photo taken of him during that race.

Harvey Lewis, men's champion of #badwater135 2014! 23:52:55 time

A post shared by Chris Kostman of Badwater (@chriskostman) on

I wrote an article about the experience for work. When he returned to Cincinnati, a broadcast reporter caught up with Lewis and discussed his passion for running insane distances.

I’ve been invited by Lewis’s friends to join them on a run. I have not found the nerve to do that yet.

From everything I read and see Lewis is a guy you want to know. He inspires and elevates those around him.

Lewis just completed another ultramarathon, the Arrowhead Ultra 135. In humorous video clips he chronicled conditioning for the winter extremes Arrowhead offered.

On Monday and Tuesday, I was again glued to social media as his friends sent updates from International Falls, Minnesota.

Lewis tied for second place.  The Cincinnati resident made a pact with another US runner to to cross the finish together.

The first place winner, Swedish runner Marcus Berggren, had the race of a lifetime, crushing the existing course record by nearly 3 hours.

I can’t wait to see what Harvey Lewis does next.

And as Harvey stated on Facebook (I’d recommend checking out his full series of Arrowhead videos here), Cincinnati really is a great place to run.


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