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Shayne Lewis

In 2009 when Shayne was only 18, his father passed away from cancer. In the midst of his mourning the loss of his dad, he found himself watching a documentary about three men who ran across the Sahara Desert and feeling a sudden sense of self. It was that moment that Shayne decided he was meant to be part of the running world, even though he had never run a race in his life.

“I just knew that I wanted to train for an ultra-marathon after watching that movie. A voice in my head said “this is what you need to do,” recalled Shayne. “It was a Wednesday, I went to the running store and told them my plan of running a 70-mile race. They asked how many years of running experience I had, and I told them zero. They laughed and said I should probably start with a triathlon. The first one I could find was that Sunday, I barely made it through but I finished and I loved it.”

Over the next four years during college, Shayne completed 15 triathlons, but found himself wanting to push himself even further. He has since finished a half ironman, a full ironman, and a total of more than 80 races over his 10 year competitive endurance training career. Running the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon as part of United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United is proving to be a race opportunity that carries more significance than just the medal at the end.

“My cousin is married to a U.S. Army veteran, and I’m honored to be running as part of Team Mission United,” said Shayne. As a high school history teacher, the significance of racing for those who served our country is not lost on him. “As part of my job, I make sure that my students have an understanding of what serving in our military entails. They need to recognize the plight that these men and women have had to endure, in wars they might not always think about, and that’s how they comprehend where we’ve come from, and how far we’ve come thanks to our armed forces.”

While this race is not the longest in distance Shayne has run, it certainly has the opportunity to be one of the most meaningful.