“As a teacher and athlete I’m honored to join the Hope So Bright Campaign for children. As a child I had a learning disability and the investments and dedication made by my teachers, parents and community paved the way for the opportunities I enjoy today. I’m concerned about our nation’s standard approach to ADHD and treatment that generally focuses solely on medicating children. From my observations of children in various countries and personal experience with ADHD I believe greater strides should be made toward holistic approaches to overcoming ADHD including nutrition, exercise and learning styles. I’m interested in bringing greater awareness and hope to inspire folks through our shared journey along Marathon De Sables. I’m excited about the odyssey ahead.”
Harvey Sweetland Lewis (born April 1976) is an American ultra runner, social studies and economics teacher, world traveler and public speaker. In July 2014, Lewis won the Bad Water Ultra Marathon near Death Valley, CA, in just under 23 hours and 53 minutes. This race is touted as the world’s toughest foot race due to extremely hot temperatures and immense elevation changes throughout the course. Six months later near the Canadian border in International Falls, MN, Lewis tied for second place at the Arrowhead 135, showing not only his adaptability for racing in any climate, but also his sportsmanship. He and fellow runner Jan Kriska battled for second place for most of the race, but in the end, both agreed to finish together tied for second, according to accounts from the race.
Noted for his spontaneity as much as his dedication, Lewis often seeks new challenges to improve his health, often with positive effects on the community or the environment as a side benefit. For example, he commutes to work every day of his own volition, either running, cycling or occasionally skiing or walking. Even on days immediately following an endurance race, he makes the six-mile round trip commute with his backpack filled with a change of clothes, his laptop, graded homework assignments and his packed lunch.
With his health and the environment as motivation, Lewis has run to work for most of his adult life: as a college student, a factory worker and even a car salesperson (before he became a teacher). When interviewed after his 3:20 sprint finish at the inaugural Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon in 1999, Lewis joked: “I am the only car salesman in America who runs to and from work.”
Lewis often posts videos of his training strategies, races and his morning-after commutes to his Ultra Runner social media outlet, recounting the people who inspire him along the way while simultaneously holding himself accountable to his goals. Lewis encourages people to find a source of inspiration and pursue one’s dreams to the fullest.
Lewis represented Team USA at the 24-Hour World Championships by the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) in 2013 and 2014. When Lewis ran 154.590 miles at the Spartanburg, SC, 24-hour race in March 2014, that earned him the top qualifier position to again represent Team USA at the international championship in Turin, Italy in April 2015.
Lewis placed second at the 24-hour USA national championships in September 2014 at the North coast 24-hour Endurance Run, with 136.34 miles.
Winner, Badwater Ultra marathon (135 miles) 23:52:55 July 2014
Winner, SC24, Spartanburg, SC, March 16, 2014: 154.590 miles
Winner, Stone Steps 50K, Cincinnati, OH, Oct. 27, 2013: 4:15:33
Winner, North Coast 24-Hour Endurance Run, Cleveland, OH, Sept. 21, 2013: 150.58678 miles
Winner, FANS 24-Hours, Minnesota, June 2, 2012: 142.86 miles
Winner, Tie Dye 32M, Apr 28, 2012: 4:01:32
Winner, Sulphur Springs 160KM, May 29, 2010: 17:12:37
Sulphur Springs 100 (Ontario, Canada) on the “old course” at 17:12:37, in 2010
5K: 16:34 Toronto, July 2013
Marathon: 2:46 Last Chance for Boston, Columbus, OH, Feb. 2014
50K: 4:01:32 Tie Dye, April 2012
24 Hours: 154.590 miles SC24, Spartanburg, SC, March 16, 2014