A vegan pensioner has scooped a gold medal at the recent National Senior Games.
Writer Ellen Jaffe Jones, 66, is bucking a trend which has seen her competitors retiring, hiring a trainer and training almost full time. Instead, she is self-trained.
Jaffe Jones competed in all seven available distances at the Games, from 50 meters to 1,500 meters, having qualified for the games at State level. She was one of only two athletes to do so.
Highlights included coming tenth in the 800 meters and also in the 1,500 meters. She also managed to compete in the relays at the end.
She scooped her gold as part of the relay event - where her team finished the race just two seconds off the USA track n Field record for their age group.
It wasn't easy, as the meet at Albuquerque was at altitude. A teammate collapsed the day before while racing as others did due to altitude and oxygen deprivation.
"Most Floridians had slower times than their qualifying times because of the altitude and lack of oxygen," she told Great Vegan Athletes.
"What's important to understand about the optional relays is that they are the very last event and everyone is pretty much spent by then."
"I went to Albuquerque three days early," she added. "I followed all the vegan altitude recommendations including lots of water, iron-rich foods, and beet juice. I ate at Whole Foods to get fresh greens and salad every night."
This preparation and her approach to health meant she was able to compete in the relays.
"My 100-meter time in the solo race I did was 22.2, but I expect it could have been as much as a second or even two faster under pressure for the relay," she said.