After rigorous training for 16 weeks, Basehor resident Brian Lewis’ dedication paid off when he won the Kansas City Marathon on Oct. 15. He finished 12 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor with a time of two hours, 43 minutes against more than 1,200 runners.

While the time may seem impressive, Lewis’ time at last year’s Kansas City Marathon was actually faster when he finished in the top 10 in the marathon.

With a race time temperature of 65 degrees with high humidity that day, Lewis knew this year’s marathon wasn’t going to be an easy one.  

“Those are not good conditions for a marathon,” he said. “It is a really hard course and if you want to run a fast time, this marathon isn’t the best course for that,” he said.

Lewis said he knew he was going to win at about the 14-mile mark when he passed two younger runners who had been ahead of him until that point. Once Lewis passed them, he never gave up the lead for the final 12 miles.

Lewis’ pre-marathon training program included running 40-70 miles per week, strength training, interval training, hill workouts as well as long runs of 12 to 22 miles with his running club, The Runner’s Edge of Kansas City. The club’s coach, Eladio Valdez, is responsible for planning the long runs in various locations around the Kansas City area.

Lewis’ wife Kelly is also a member of the running club, which is how the couple met. Brian joined the group in 2009 after running his first half marathon in 2003 and his first full marathon in 2005. Last year, the couple moved to Basehor where Brian quickly came to appreciate the local terrain to prepare him for the hilly parts of the Kansas City course.  

“We love the small town feel of Basehor. It has such a welcoming and neighborly feel,” Kelly said. “I’m so extremely proud of my husband. He’s a non-professional athlete and to win the Kansas City Marathon is pretty wonderful.”

“Basehor has a rural feel, but it is still close to the city and we enjoy living here,” said Brian.

Lewis trains throughout the Basehor area including the high school and middle school tracks as well along the city streets. He recently won the Basehor Crazy Cow 5K and has participated in the Chicago, Boston and New York marathons. He is a structural engineer and Kelly is a clinical neuropsychologist.

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com