Vegan runner Harvey Lewis has taken the win at Florida’s Long Haul 100 mile ultramarathon – after a scramble to make the start line.
The Cincinnati-based teacher had booked a flight to the event after a day working. He arrived at the airport to find the flight cancelled. With no other option than to drive the 903 miles to the start line, that’s what he did. Arriving 40 minutes before the start gun was fired, Harvey managed a quick nap before setting off.
By the midpoint of the race he was opening up a lead over second place and he managed to build this. Eventually he took the win, crossing the finish line in the dark with a headtorch. His time was first in 16 hours seven minutes, 33 minutes ahead of second.
Harvey has twice won The Badwater Ultra, dubbed the ‘world’s toughest footrace’. Last year he won the world final of the Big Dog Ultra, setting a world record for the format (more here).
The 45 year old has been vegetarian for 25 years and vegan for 5.
“As an ultrarunner do you spend a lot of time philosophising on your own life and the exterior life” he says. “I think a lot in nature and I connect with the plants and animals and it makes me feel they have relevance as well. Knowing the ingredients you’re putting in your body and eating the incredible variety that exists in the plant world it’s so powerful, there’s just so many options. By diversifying you actually strengthen your longevity.”
Harvey is keen to encourage others to try veganism and recently organised a seven day vegan challenge on social media. This was aided and aimed at athletes and encouraged people to explore wholefood plant based foods.
Harvey was particularly impressed with his award, and said “awards are awards, but this is a piece of art”. This is shown in the picture, with Harvey eating a recovery meal of Thai stir fry vegetables & tofu with giant spring rolls.