Vegan Athlete Smashes 'Spartathlon' Event Despite Hellish Conditions

The race - based on a historical feat - is one of the toughest challenges on earth
Vegan athlete Ariel Rosenfeld
The athlete in action

A vegan athlete has completed one of the toughest footraces on Earth - in hellish weather conditions.

Ariel Rosenfeld took part in Spartathon for the third time this year - a 153 mile (246km) event which typically deals with daytime heat, rapidly falling temperatures and mountainous terrain, including a climb of the 1200 meter (3900 ft) Sangas mountain pass.

"Out of the three Spartathlons I've completed, this was my slowest time and lowest rank, although this is the one I'm most proud of," Rosenfeld told Great Vegan Athletes.

Out of the 381 runners who started the race, 238 finished, with Rosenfeld finishing 105th in 33 hours 29 minutes.

Weather conditions

The region is known for difficult running conditions with some high temperatures, although this year cyclone Zorbas brought something new.

"After 10 hours of running in light rain, we faced extreme weather conditions - including heavy rain and powerful winds - during most of the race. Storm Zorbas [that ravaged areas of Greece] was near us on race days," he added.

"I needed to change plans during the race in order not to get hypothermia (like others did), so I  changed my clothing and walked much more than initially planned, in order not to put more stress on my body.

"I was very well prepared for the race, which helped me to build a nice buffer over the cut-off times for the first half, when the weather was still good."

The race is notoriously tough


Rosenfeld turned vegan in 2012. It was a small transition, as he had given up meat in 2011, and had already dropped cow's milk.

The changes were influenced by the ethical arguments highlighted by Gary Yourofsky.

For his Spartathlon preparation, he's continued to eat his regular diet. "I've been eating the same as I have over the last years, focusing on a variety of fruits and vegetables. The rest is nuts, seeds, legumes, and cereals."

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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Great Vegan Athletes was set up to celebrate the incredible achievements of elite vegan athletes, and highlight that a vegan diet is in no way a hindrance to athletic excellence. The writers profile more than 100 top level athletes - including world champions and world record holders across a range of sports, as well as spreading news of their success. The site can be found at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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