2019: Plant-Based Endurance Athletes Year In Review

Vegan and plant-based endurance athletes have had a successful year - this round-up sums up some of their achievements
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Vegan athletes have had some amazing achievements this year (Photo: Great Vegan Athletes)

Vegan athletes have had some amazing achievements this year (Photo: Great Vegan Athletes)

2019 was heralded the 'Year of the Vegan', by mainstream media outlets - and that's certainly the case when it comes to sports.

A number of vegan and plant-based endurance athletes have had amazing achievements this year - and this Great Vegan Athletes' (GVA) review lists them.

Ellen Jaffe Jones

GVA started the year with a post about Senior athlete Ellen Jaffe Jones, who competed in the hotly contested 65-60 category of the Florida Senior Games in six track events. Incredibly, she came away with six medals.

She went on to compete at the Nationals, competing in seven events and then the relay, where her team broke the national age group record.

Jaffe Jones was one of a number of endurance athletes GVA reported on this year.

Lisa Gawthorne

Another busy athlete was Lisa Gawthorne, who is a managing director of a vegan confectionery company and duathlete. This year she proved she can also compete in purely running events by representing England over the 10km distance.

Soon after this, she was in Spain for the World Duathlon Championships, taking an impressive ninth place in her age group. She followed this up with age group Bronze in the Great Britain National 5k Championships (more here).

Soon after this, she was in Romania for the European Championships where she recorded a position of ninth.

In November, Gawthorne ran for England in the British and Irish Masters’ 6km cross country race, representing Vegan Runners UK. She took 17 in her age category

Alister Gardner

Known for his performances over extreme distances, Alister Gardner switched to the 26 mile distance to take on the Ottawa Marathon, impressing everyone with his adaptability as he took second (more here).

Later in the year he took on the extremely challenging terrain of the 30km Escarpment race, finishing second.

Vlad Ixel

Prolific trail runner Vlad Ixel returned to a race series he’s made his name in – The North Face endurance series. Taking on the 50k distance with which he’s less familiar, he recorded an impressive win with few finishing close to him (more here).

This was one of twenty one races entered by Vlad this year; he won sixteen of them.

Johanna Jahnke

Retired rugby international Johanna Jahnke took on an unsupported 4000km race across Europe, finishing as the first female pair to do so in time for the finisher’s party (more here).

Antoine Jolicouer

Triathlete Antoine Jolicouer Desroches achieved a new personal best of three hours 53 minutes and 48 seconds and gave him fourth in a tough field at the Chatanooga triathlon, within five minutes of the winner (more here).

Sebastjan Gergoric

Fellow triathlete Sebastjan Gergoric competed over the longer distance at Ironman Switzerland.

His time was faster than even he expected, including a 3:09 time for the marathon running leg. 

It qualified him for the World Championships, which he has had to decline due to finances

Andreas Vojta

Track athlete Andreas Vojta competed at the Austrian nationals and won the 1500m – his 33 national title.(more here). 

Soon after he competed in the European Championships over 3000m and 5000m, taking a win over the longer distance.

Yassine Diboun

Trail runner Yassine Diboun had already broken the record for a much longer trail when he took on the record for the 51 km around Mount St Helens. 

He broke the record in his six-hour challenge.

Paolo Barbon

Cyclist Paolo Barbon entered the gruelling 24 hour Bellaria Igea Marina, placing fifth out of 14 riders in his age group.