Durango, Colo. (Oct. 27, 2023)Tailwind Nutrition athlete Harvey Lewis, 47, of Cincinnati, Ohio won the Big Dog Backyard Ultra race earlier this week, completing 108 total laps. This is Lewis’ second win at Big’s, having won in 2021 by running 354 miles in 85 hours. Lewis has also been the “assist” (the person who is the second person standing) three times, making him arguably the greatest Backyard Ultra runner in the world. 

This ultra-endurance race is unlike any other. The race takes place in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and has a tagline of “there is no finish.” Gary “Laz” Cantrell, the founder of the Barkley Marathons, created Big’s, which is considered to be one of the hardest races in the world. How it works is that runners complete a 4.167-mile loop (also known as “yards”) every hour on the hour for as long as it takes until there is only one runner left. That last runner must complete one more “yard” than the last person to drop to be the winner. There are two routes, a trail loop, which runners run during the day, and a road loop, which they run at night.

The race started at 7 a.m. local time on Saturday and by the afternoon of Wednesday, October 25 there were just two runners left heading into the 104th lap, Lewis and Ihor Verys, who is Ukrainian but lives in Canada. Both continued to make the cut-off for the next few laps. However, by the 108th loop and fueled by Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel, Harvey officially became the last man standing. 

Tailwind Nutrition Athlete and Events Manager, Maggie Guterl was keeping close tabs on Harvey’s performance this past weekend. “I was in touch with Harvey’s crew during the race and on Monday, we overnighted him another supply of our super-secret-new Tailwind product, which is currently in testing mode with our athletes. It has more than received the Harvey ‘seal of approval’ we can confirm.”

Many athletes struggle to find a sports drink that works best for them. Tailwind’s gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and soy-free Endurance Fuel products mix with water and are designed to be used during training and racing to meet all of an athlete’s calorie, hydration, and electrolyte needs, without upsetting the stomach. 

In commenting on his feat of epic proportions, Lewis said “I never felt dehydrated. I was no spring chicken but I was surviving.”

Outside of training for ultra races, Lewis is a teacher in the Cincinnati public school system. At Big’s, he was also raising money for the Brighton Center, an organization that helps “individuals and families reach self-sufficiency through family support services, education, employment, and leadership,” according to their website.

Lewis isn’t the only Tailwind athlete to have found success in the Backyard Ultra format. Tailwind Nutrition employee Maggie Guterl won Big’s in 2019, becoming the first woman to win in the race’s history, finishing 250 miles in 60 hours. Additionally, Tailwind athlete John Stocker from the United Kingdom beat the world record in 2021,  running 337 miles at the Suffolk Backyard Ultra, and in 2020 Courtney Dauwalter won, running 283 miles (Harvey was the assist). Finally, earlier this year, Sam Harvey, a Tailwind Nutrition athlete from New Zealand had the assist at the Australian Master’s Backyard Ultra, making it 101 yards.

For more information on Tailwind Nutrition and to keep up with Tailwind Nutrition athletes, please visit www.tailwindnutrition.com, Tailwind’s blog, and follow their adventures on Instagram (@tailwindnutrition) and Facebook.