Badwater Ultramarathon Winner and Vegetarian Harvey Lewis



135 miles. In the hottest part of the summer. Through Death Valley, where temperatures sometimes reach 120 degrees and once melted the soles of anyone’s shoes who didn’t run on the road’s white line.

Badwater’s course was forced to change this year, and temperatures weren’t what they usually are (“only” 112 degrees or so this year). Seems like it worked out just fine for Harvey Lewis, a school teacher from Cincinnati and vegetarian who won the race this year — by 50 minutes — in his fourth time taking on the iconic race. Even more interesting, Harvey’s training mileage averaged only 100 miles per week. For me, someone whose dream race is Badwater (and who is never going to run anything approaching the 140-mile weeks that many elite ultrarunners put in), it was an absolute pleasure to talk to Harvey about how prepared for and won the Badwater 135.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The appeal of Badwater and running 135 miles through the desert
  • How to train for the extreme heat
  • Harvey’s visualization and mind-focusing techniques
  • What Harvey eats during an ultramarathon
  • RunQuest and international running travel opportunities

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