Lisa Gawthorne took home a gold medal after her performance at the European Duathlon Championships on Saturday.
Team GB athlete Lisa, who is celebrating 20 years of veganism this year, has travelled worldwide competing in duathlons, previously winning bronze in the World Championships in Romania last year. Saturday 18 March saw her crowned the European Duathlon champion in her age group, after a fantastic performance at the European Championships in Venice.
Lisa explains why the win was so important to her: “When I sprinted over the line to hear my name called out as the category winner, it was just amazing, I was very emotional. I’ve put in so much hard work and graft and it just felt so rewarding that it had all paid off to be crowned European Champion.
It’s even more special because this year I am celebrating my 20th veganniversary. I am vegan for the animals but there are huge health and performance benefits in sport that have without a doubt played a significant part in my athletic journey. I recover super-fast, my sleep is amazing and my digestion is on point - which is very important in sport and fitness as keeping healthy is essential when you have to put in hard training sessions.”
Long-time vegan Lisa helps to prove what is possible on a vegan diet, illustrating that you can not only survive, but thrive and succeed. As the Vegan Society’s Vegan and Thriving campaign shows, well-balanced vegan diets have been proven to support excellent health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes can lower blood pressure, as well as decreasing the chances of getting heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Demonstrating that success can go hand-in-hand with compassion, Lisa has influenced teammates to try a vegan lifestyle and see the benefits for themselves, saying: “I am so passionate about supporting the movement and spreading positivity and well-informed knowledge with others that may be vegan-curious. Over the years I have had a lots of teammates that have transitioned to vegan diets and they’ve told me I was a major influence - that means so much to me.”
For more about Lisa’s journey, you can listen to the Vegan Society’s podcast episode, The Vegan Pod – Is a plant-based diet really enough to fuel a vegan athlete?, where Lisa discusses how her diet has fuelled her for success. Lisa runs a vegan food brand company Bravura Foods as well as being the author of vegan fitness book Gone in 60 Minutes and helpful vegan deck of cards resource The Vegan Deck. Find her on Instagram, @Lisa_Gawthorne.
Feeling inspired to give veganism a go but you’re not sure where to start? Download the Vegan Society’s free app VeGuide for information, advice and recipes to help you on your vegan journey.