AUSTIN (KXAN) — Corporal Ben Mewis with the Austin Police Department has a passion for running.
Last year, he ran all the streets of the Baker Sector, which he patrols. Mewis’ run connected him to the community and the ideas built from there.
His passion pushed him to pursue the endeavor of running from San Antonio to Austin, starting at the Alamo and ending on the front steps of the Texas State Capitol.
“I was really surprised by the support. I really just thought people were gonna say I was a mad man,” he said.
Well, the people had much more to say than that.
“A lot of them were like ‘It would be so cool to meet you in person or see you out and about or something.’ It’s just that connection to say ‘Yeah, I work here and I’m an officer, but I’m also a part of the community,’” he said.
The community’s support is part of what kept him going on the 81-mile journey.
The other piece was his buddy, officer Scott Baldridge.
“Driving up ahead of him every three miles and just getting water and food and stuff ready for him and making sure he stayed on course and didn’t veer off,” Baldridge said.
“I would say he is my extreme cheerleader. He pushes me as hard as he knows he possibly can,” Mewis said about Baldridge.
It took Mewis about 20 hours to complete the run. He would take short breaks throughout to fuel up with food and water.
Mewis and Baldridge were all smiles when they recapped the journey, but the trek wasn’t easy.
“Some low points definitely came because it started raining throughout the day. The first time was when we hit San Marcos and it started raining,” Mewis said. “But then the sun came through, and there was steam coming off the sidewalk, it was miserable.”
But he made it.
“My inspiration for a lot of the running that I do is my daughter Vivian,” he said.
He’s also still hungry for more. He and Baldridge said they’re planning another, more grueling, running endeavor in the near future.