When life gives you mountains, you run right through them – at least that's what Harvey Lewis did on his epic 2,190-mile journey along the Appalachian Trail. The renowned ultrarunner teaches us that dreaming big isn't just a mantra, it's a way of life.
In this Q&A, we dive into Harvey’s adventures and how they inspired the Dream Big ID, his third limited edition collaboration with ROAD iD. From the heights of the Appalachian Trail to the heart of a Cincinnati classroom, this Dream Big ID embodies endurance, chasing goals, and giving back.
A portion of every Dream Big ID is donated to a cause that’s important to you. Can you tell us about it?
It’s great to have an opportunity to be a part of giving back with ROAD iD. A portion of every order of the ID goes to the Todd Jeffries Scholarship Fund at the School for Creative & Performing Arts in Cincinnati, where I’m a teacher. I started the scholarship in 2018 in memory of a friend who passed away at a young age. This is the third edition of the Dream Big ID, and every year the funds raised go to post-secondary education for graduates of SCPA based on merit and need.
This is your third collaboration with ROAD iD to make a Dream Big ID. What does Dream Big mean to you?
I like to chase goals that cause me to truly reach and work really hard. I got a small wooden art piece as a freshman in college that said “Dream Big.” It excites me to chase difficult goals and the phrase really stuck with me.
Every Dream Big Limited Edition release has been related to a meaningful adventure in your life. For this current edition, the IDs are inspired by your time on the Appalachian trail. In 2018, you finished the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail in less than 50 days, running from Georgia to Maine. You are among the top 10 for fasted completion of the trail through all 14 states. Can you tell us about how that comes to life in the 2023 Dream Big ID?
The Appalchain trail is an important part of my story and so it made sense to have the third Dream Big installment be related to it. We made a film, Like Harvey Like Son, about my run through the trail. This band encapsulates a lot of what you’ll see in the film. It shows the cooler landscape and colors of the Appalachian trail and it just kind of embodies this whole geographic region in some ways. Those mountains inspire me.
I have many different feelings about the trail— from exhilaration to relaxation to nostalgia to just the feeling of gratefulness. Gratefulness to have had that summer with my father along the Appalachian Trail, the film crew and the friends I met along the way.
Like Harvey Like Son is a film about not only your attempt at the Fastest Known Time on the Appalachian Trail, but also about your 78-year-old father who served as your crew chief during your run. How did that play a role in your run on the trail?
I was going for the Fastest Known Time on the Appalachian Trail and the highlight of that experience was the bond with my father and the experiences we shared daily. We had many highs and lows, from seeing unparalleled sunsets while quickly devouring an evening meal to overcoming injuries and continuing on. Those 50 days were captured in Like Harvey Like Son.
I returned to the trails near Mt. Katahdin in early June, 2019 with my fiancé Kelly and her kids. I felt nostalgic. It felt amazing, like visiting an old friend. But I was also missed my father not being there and having limited time to just a day.
You have traveled a lot in your life. Why does the Appalachian Trail stand out to you?
I’ve traveled to 102 countries. I love traveling both domestically and internationally. I feel like my senses are at their peak traveling. I return inspired, with new learning I can share with my students and memories. This new Dream Big band just reminds me of the wild places that exist right here in our country, places like the Appalchian Trail. It’s one of our nations great natural treasures. The 13 state route covers over 2,190 miles and exceeded all of my expectations. I thought I really knew this country, but the mountains, the thru-hikers, and trail offered limitless stories and inspiration.
Looking at the new Dream Big ID, I can just for a moment, you know, visually put my self back on some of those places on the trail. It reminds me of those many treasures in America’s mountains east of the Mississippi. The mountains offer adventure, growth and reflection.
What are three words that embody what the Appalachian Trail means to you?
Enchanting, Long, Enlightening
The previous edition of the Dream Big ID was inspired by the American Southwest— can you tell us about the inspiration behind the band?
The second edition of the Dream Big ID came out shortly after I won the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2021. The orange and red landscape shown on the band was reminiscent of the desert landscapes from the 135-mile Badwater race. It’s a place where you as a runner are testing yourself in like the most extreme environments and dreaming big, pushing through your personal limits, pushing beyond and challenging yourself to, to be the best you can be.