Pat Reeves, vegan powerlifter
Pat was diagnosed with a serious genetic cancer in 1977 when she was 32, which led to her adopting a wholefood vegan diet. As a result her health has made an excellent recovery and the 'terminal' cancer has gone into remission while but continues to live a full and incredible life.
Pat has conducted extensive research into the value of nutrients in fighting disease and is a qualified dietary therapist and published author. "I have now followed a plant-based eating regime for forty-four years" said Pat in 2009 "- wow - that's so long! Substantially, I have been eating raw and living foods (around 95% living foods) for the last seventeen of those. I credit my current excellent health and phenomenal energy to this method of food preparation - and also my ability to stay on top of the genetically-fuelled cancer."
A competitive runner after training in triathlon, Pat completed nine marathons, of which five were victories. Her personal best for marathon was 2:25, an outstanding time. She then started powerlifting with even greater success. She has been a British Masters Title holder from 1991 to the present day (2011) and successfully competed at an international level. Pat also has several Divisional, Commonwealth and Masters' records. Personal highlights include world and European records in 1994/5 and taking records in 2005 which remain unbeaten.
In 2011 she set another record, this time for Bench press. Competing at 42.9kg bodyweight, Pat's personal bests include: 90kg Squat 55kg Bench Press (a British record) 130kg Deadlift (a British Record) Although Pat originally started her 'plant-based regime' to fight her genetically fuelled cancer, now she acknowledges what she calls "the damning cruelty and ecological angle...Why we breed and kill our animals is beyond understanding."
In 2012, aged 66 she lifted 94 kg to set a record for the under 50.5kg weight class while competing in France (click here for details). The lift was more than 1.85 times her bodyweight, which is exceptional for her division. By this time Pat's competitors had retired from the sport so she became officially the oldest competing weightlifter in Europe.
As 2013 closed she broke her own deadlift World Record, despite kidney issues, amid a schedule of competing, refereeing and hosting events (read more here)
No Meat Athlete is a great running resource Full disclosure: 50% of any book you buy on there goes to support this website but there's also a ton of free resources there.