Vegan wins the race with no finish as records tumble

Ultramarathons seem tough to most of us, although the ‘race with no finish’ won by vegan Harvey Lewis sounds even more demanding

21 October 2021

Runners complete a 4.17 mile course every hour. If they fail to get back before the hour, they’re out. They keep repeating until they fail.

It means they run 100 miles per day and keep going without proper rest. The recent Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra event in the USA featured runners from across the globe who won their own respective races. Due to travel restrictions some couldn’t make it. One was vegan runner Antonio di Manno who won the Italian race and qualified, but couldn’t attend.

After two days, nine runners had completed 200 miles and still continued. Gradually they started to drop off. After 80 laps a Japanese runner dropped out and Harvey continued with Chris Roberts. Chris is a runner who eats almost completely plant based. After more than three days, Chris stopped after lap 84 (354 miles). Harvey completed lap 85 to take the win.

His 355 mile run at this years’ Big Dog is also a record and this is the toughest race of this format ever. The race was partway through the fourth day when Harvey took the win. Nobody has covered 85 laps before; the previous record was set in 2021 at 81 laps.

Vegan powered

Harvey stopped eating meat in 1996 and has been vegan since 2016.

“I credit much of my success in ultrarunning to a stomach that enables me to devour tons of food and start running instantly,” he says.

He also says it aids recovery and provides the “necessary ingredients for my body to bounce back quickly from punishing endurance events over hundreds of miles.”

“I can run a 24-hour race hitting over 158 miles and then run to school the very next day.”

He’s also won perhaps the highest profile ultramarathon in the world – twice. The 135 mile Badwater Ultra is known for its extreme terrain and heat, and he won in 2014 and 2021

More on Harvey

Harvey on Facebook

Article on the brutal race

Official results