Budjargal Byambaa is an ultradistance runner who runs extreme distance events over several days. In doing so he covers enormous distances at impressive speeds.
In 2013 Budjargal broke the 24 hour national record for his home nation of Mongolia after completing 182 km, and he has completed the 10-day Sri Chinmoy race five times. He won it in 2017 (1189 km) and again in 2019 (1222 km). In 2019 Budjargal completed the Xiamen 6-day race, winning with a distance of 834 km.
Travelling to Florida for the Icarus Florida Ultrafest 2020, Budjargal participated in the 6-day race, taking first place with a run of 787 km. He led second place by 132 km, beating his own record by 17 km.
Budjargal stopped eating all animal products in January 2019. He was motivated by thoughts of improving his athletic performance.
“I met a doctor “Budjargal explained. “She told me that naturally suited food for human body is not animal related food, it is plant based food. “
Now he eats a lot of raw food, with fruit and nuts making up most of his intake. During the amazing Icarus Florida Ultrafest run he ate a lot of avocados and bananas and some nuts. He also ate coconut meat, grapes, oranges, mandaris, apples, kiwi, berries pears and mangoes. Instead of water he drank coconut juice from a farm, which he ensured was fresh.
Undertaking events of extreme distance may seem difficult to understand for many of us. The ten day Sri Chimnoy race saw him run almost 29 standard marathons. It’s clear that Budjargal sees these epic challenges as part of his own spiritual growth.
“Veganism is the right choice for me, it improves my physical strength” he says. “It helps me to transcend my physical self, moving to the next stage of my spiritual development and growth.”
He also focusses on the extreme mental toughness needed to keep the body going in these events.
“Long distance running is different than any other type of running. It needs not only physical strength, it needs my inner strength. My thought about inner strength is, it is so powerful and it can give me much much more strength than the physical strength.”
“Becoming vegan helped me to find my inner strength.”