As you guys know, I'm a full-time Personal trainer and a part-time Ultra/Marathon Runner. I've taken part in races both whilst having a 'standard' Omnivore Diet and whilst eating plant-based. I can honestly say that my recovery times have improved since I've been plant-based which is pretty much anti-everything people would think due to the Protein myth (more on that later in the week).
Now, whilst I'm an incredibly average runner, there are some amazing athletes out there that have done some extraordinary things whilst following the Vegan way and I wanted to introudce you to them.
Rich's story from Alcoholic to Endurance Athlete & one of the fittest men in the world has been superbly chronicled in his memoir Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself - totally worth a read when you get the chance - so I won't dig too much into things but this guy has transformed himself to being one of the premier voices in the plant-based movement.
Not only was he one of the top finishers at the 2008 and 2009 Ultraman World Championships but in 2010 he went on to do the ridiculous and complete 5 full Ironmans on 5 different Hawaiian Islands in just one week! He has now gone on to broadcasting and hosts the hugely succesful Rich Roll Podcast. Amazing character who I've learnt a lot from.
There's no way any Vegan athletes list could not include Scott. An absolute legend in Ultra Running circles, he has transcended the sport by being featured in Christopher McDougall's super 'Born to Run' and has since released his own book 'Eat and Run' full of amazing stories of his running exploits and some great recipes to boot (his Chilli is AMAZING!).
Arguably the best Ultra Runner of all time, Scott won the Western States 100 a staggering 7 times in a row he has won pretty much every top Ultra Marathon race there is - including multiple victories at Badwater 135 and Spartathlon 153 for instance. Adding to that, he's a thoroughly lovely bloke. I had the pleasure of meeting him twice at Vegfest 2014 and at the release of his book a few days later. Hugely approachable and always willing to offer his advice and experience!
Patrik went full Vegan for compassionate reasons in 2011 having previously been Vegetarian for a number of years. He is a Strong Man, completely bucking the view that Vegans are weak! He has Personal Bests of: Bench 210kg, Squat 360kg, Deadlift 360kg.
Having taken a year off to write a book on sports nutrition, Patrik came back and competed at the German National Championships, finishing 4th overall and smashing the Yoke Walk World Record, walking 10 metres with a mind-blowing 555kgs (87st!) in just 28s. This was his 4th World Record whilst being Vegan and is further proof of what is possible.
Frankly, this is barely scratching the surface of amazing Vegan Athletes but i just wanted to pick a few that I have followed over the past few years who have dispelled some of the thoughts I had prior to taking this approach to living so hopefully it'll do the same for you!