Cincinnati Running Hero Challenges for Desert Race
By Alice Hunter Morrison, Moroccan-based Journalist, winner of Best Africa Blog, RunUltra, and Special Correspondent to Hope So Bright
April 5, 2016
Harvey Sweetland Lewis of Cincinnati, Ohio, the winner of the legendary US trail marathon, Badwater® 135, has joined four other top international athletes, Jason Schlarb (USA), Carlos Sa (Portugal), Marco Olmo (Italy), two-time winner of UTMB, and Ricardo Mejia Hernandez (Mexico), to run the team competition at the Marathon des Sables 2016.
They have been brought together by USA Ultra Runner, Linda Sanders, to create awareness of the plight of children suffering from ADHD. A staggering one in ten children in the USA is diagnosed with the condition. Their team name is I Run 4 Ultra.
The Marathon des Sables is called the Toughest Footrace on Earth. It is six marathons in six days across the Sahara Desert. The middle marathon is a double. Temperatures regularly reach 50 degrees C. The terrain is arduous with endless miles of sand dunes and salt flats, interspersed with rocky trails. Competitors must be self-sufficient and carry all their own food and equipment for the week.
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.
Please find attached a full article and sample photographs. High-Resolution pictures are available on request through Dropbox. For interviews or additional information, please contact
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