Jonathan Levitt: 50k or Bust

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Jonathan Levitt:

Ultra Runner

Chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of Jonathan Levitt — you just don’t know that you’ve heard of Jonathan Levitt. 

He’s the guy who just kept tweeting at and inviting Shalane Flanagan to a November Project workout until she finally showed up one day in November of 2014

He’s also the guy who has gotten a lot of ink lately after organizing an impromptu 50k trail race (the Donner Party 50k) to raise money to help provide relief support to the communities impacted by the wildfires in California after the 50k he was supposed to run with the North Face Endurance Challenge was canceled due to those fires. His efforts wound up raising 20k, after North Face reached out to him and let him know they would match whatever they raised. 

“We called it the “Making Lemonade 50k” because we turned something happening that was pretty shitty and turned it into something pretty good,” he said. 

But 5 years ago, Levitt, 28, who grew up just outside of Boston, was just a young adult mesmerized and inspired by the grit, grace, and courage on display at the 2013 Boston Marathon. As he stood in Wellesley cheering on runners going by him he thought, “Wow, look at all these people who are all different shapes, sizes and speeds running a marathon.”

And then the bombings happened. 

“The next day I went for a run,” Levitt said. “I parked my car in Newton and ran from there to the finish line. It ended up being my first unintentional half marathon.” 

For a kid who played baseball and hockey growing up and hated running, Levitt has wound up with many miles under his belt after finding the community of running. 

“Community is everything for me. Running isn’t an individual sport. We’re all better because of those around us.”

Listen to a mini-podcast with Jonathan Levitt on Anchor.

alan scherer