AUSTIN, Texas – An Austin Police Department corporal ran across Central Texas in just over 19 hours all to fulfill a personal goal.
“It was quite the adventure,” Cpl. Benjamin Mewis said.
“It took 19 hours and 51 minutes to run the whole thing. It was like a 14-minute mile pace,” said Cpl. Mewis.
He says he picked those two locations to be his start and finish line because they are two iconic state landmarks, and he was born and raised in Texas.
Cpl. Mewis admits running was not his thing at first. “I absolutely hated running when I first started,” he said.
He says he picked up running so he could pass the physical for the police academy. After that, he started to realize running was not too bad and he grew to enjoy it.
He says he went on to run many marathons and even a 100-mile race. He has even implemented running into his day-to-day patrol work. He has run his entire patrol sector, all 573 miles and 1200 streets, as a way to learn the area better.
“It was really cool to see all of my sector on foot,” he said.
This journey from San Antonio to the Capitol was not a new idea. Cpl. Mewis says he actually tried to do this over the summer but did not finish. This time around, he enlisted his friend and fellow Austin Police Officer Zachary Baldridge to shadow him in a vehicle and keep him going.
“I pretty much just ran support and crew for him. I drove with him down to San Antonio, to the Alamo, and then once he started, I met him every three miles in the car. Just made sure he was okay, try to make sure he was staying on the correct course,” said Det. Zachary Baldridge.
Cpl. Mewis says his 11-year-old daughter was his inspiration that kept him going.
“My daughter Vivian is my inspiration for doing a lot. I just want her to be proud of the accomplishments and be like, ‘yeah, my dad did some crazy stuff when he was out running around town’,” he said.
Cpl. Mewis says he plans to do another run in the future, but this time from the Capitol to the San Jacinto Battle Monument just outside Houston. A 200-mile run that he says will take some time to prepare for.