The American vegan runner Harvey Lewis has completed his 12th consecutive Badwater Ultramarathon. This was a 135-mile route under extreme heat in Death Valley, California, finishing on Mount Whitne at a height gain of 4000m. He recorded a marathon in 3:34, 8:10 per mile.
Lewis, who had previously won two times the race, run it again just two weeks after breaking his own US record in Last Survivor racing with a 375-mile run. Backyard Ultras are also known as the race with no finish, where they complete one lap every hour until they drop out (they win if they can complete one more than the last to drop out). In October 2021 Lewis broke the world record with an incredible 85 laps. His 2010 win at Sulphur Springs 100 miles gave him the course record. In 2012 he won the Tie Dye 32 mile and he won over 24 hours at the FANS in Minnesota. He’s also won the 2014 SC24 Spartanburg, covering over 154 miles.
He said after his latest marathon in July 2023, “I wasn’t sure if I would be chasing a podium finish or to get in just under the wire to finish last. Once the race started, I couldn’t resist going out hard. Perhaps not the wisest of choices. It was either my fastest or 2nd fastest time ever to Stovepipe Wells at mile 42, which totally surprised me given the Backyard 2 weeks ago. I completely surprised myself. I didn’t think this was possible. A highlight was running with each of my teammates at some point after mile 42. They were amazing!”
Lewis is a schoolteacher who has been vegan since 2016 after 20 years of being vegetarian. He said he became vegan for the animals but has noted other benefits.