Ellen Jaffe Jones


Ellen Jones is a senior runner who competes in distances from 100 metres through to endurance distances.  Following success in the 2012 Florida State senior games she became eligible to compete in the Senior National Competition in four separate events.  She's since repeated this.

  • Top placings in national events
  • Six Golds in 2014 State Senior athletics games
  • Placings in 42 racesof 5 km or more

Ellen started running aged 28 although was not as enthusiastic then.  The climate she lived in was bot as welcoming and women’s running had a low profile in 1980.  She returned to it in 2004 in her early 50s.

Finding vegan

By this time she had turned vegan.  Her sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time and Ellen had suffered a serious diet-related colon blockage.  In 1980 she made what she felt were necessary changes.  All her adult relatives had serious health issues, which included breast cancer affecting her mother, both sisters and aunt.  As a reporter she’d seen some horrific animal abuse, so the change was welcome to her.

Since starting running she has achieved a placing in her age group in 42 races.

However, Ellen feels more effective over shorter distances. Despite 30 top three placings in 5k and 10k races, she has been competing at the shorter distances.

“I believe a plant-based diet really reduces or eliminates inflammation and heals so well.”

In 2013 she competed in the USA Nationals and was placed in the top 20 in four events (100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m).  This included 7th in the 1500 metres (read more here).

Placings in Florida mean she has achieved the unusual distinction of national qualification in the 100, 200, 400 and 1500 metres events.  Despite competing in four events, her recovery was excellent.  In 2014 she competed in the Florida games and took part in the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m.  Despite taking on all events she did well in each – and took all six Golds (read more here).

In 2017 she qualified for the nationals again and took top 20 places in three events (read more here).  The games are held every two years, and in 2019 she competed in seven events.  Ellen took two 10th places and had enough energy left for a fast leg of the relay, where she won Gold (more here).

In 2022 she qualified for the National Senior games and was the only runner to enter all seven distances.  She made the podium twice (more here).  She also competed in 2023 with more successes (here).

Training others and vegan words

“As a personal trainer, I often see in clients and myself after long endurance races experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS” Ellen tells us.  “It usually happens 48-72 hours after intense exercise, is normal, and goes away in a day or two. Although my legs were shaking after the first race, the 100, when I expended the most energy, I had no pain. I believe a plant-based diet really reduces or eliminates inflammation and heals so well.”

As a vegan advocate Ellen has been keen to spread the word.  While competing in Florida she wore a top promoting the book ‘Eat Vegan on $4 a Day’ – of which she is the author . (A portion of sales from that link go to support this website).  She is a AFAA certified personal trainer and RRCA certified running coach.  Ellen is also a columnist in the Running Journal and a regional newspaper, as well as hosting a radio show covering veganism.  She also worked for a while as a financial consultant specialising in ethical investments.

Her favoured foods are very much the grains which have supported many endurance athletes: quinoa, brown rice, millet and oats.

“As the only adult female in my family of origin who hasn’t had breast cancer (and heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, major colon disease, Alzheimer’s and more), my life has been an experiment to beat the odds.”

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

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