Vegan at the World duathlon Championships

28th April

28 April 2019

Vegan food supplier and multisport athlete Lisa Gawthorne represented team Great Britain and veganism in Spain.  She competed in Spain against leading international duathletes in the Sprint Distance at the World Championships.

Preparation wasn’t ideal. “I had four episodes of asthma attacks earlier on in the week leaving me with a bad cough, sore chest and lack of oxygen so it just made it hard work in comparison to other races” Lisa told Great Vegan Athletes.

Posting on social media soon after the race she said that “runs were much slower than normal”.

The Sprint Distance race started with a 5km run, which was two laps of the town of Pontevedra.

“I felt ok to start, it started on a run track then traced all the mini back streets which contained quite a hill that we had to tackle twice” Lisa says.  From there she faced a 20 km cycle stage.

“50% of which was uphill averaging 6% incline so it was a tough climb but a very fast descent down the same hill we climbed up! Then back into transition for the final run which was one lap around the town (2.5k) which is where I felt quite a lack of oxygen.

“I probably only lost a minute or two overall with the asthma issues but I am still really pleased overall.”

Lisa took her best ever World placing of 9th (age group) and she was also the fourth from team GB.

Limitless Triathlon Coaching posted on social media “Unfortunately for Lisa she had to contend with severe asthma in the days leading into the event and she was unsure of whether to race. This therefore makes her achievement even more amazing and one that she should be truly proud of. Having competed for team GB as an age grouper for just 1 season, this is Lisa’s first top 10 in her international age group career and hopefully, I’m sure the first of many. Over the last 12 months her bike fitness has improved tremendously and this has then be reinforced by both 5km and 10km running personal bests. Both have been down to consistency and hard work”


It’s also good nutrition, so we asked Lisa what this was comprised of.  “Generally a good ratio of carbs to protein and lots of pulses, vegetables and mixed proteins – tofu, seitan, tempeh and nuts. In addition to that lots of water to keep hydration at the right level and also flaxseed and avocado with quite a lot of salads and meals to deliver some much needed essential fatty acids.”

Regrettably, the catering was not good for the event, and choices were limited to pizza and pasta.

“It’s so different to the UK but the good thing is that most athletes like carbing up so most don’t mind. I would have just liked to have seen some more options other than that but I did bring some food over with me anticipating that this may have been an issue. “

Resting on her laurels is not an option for Lisa, as the European Championships in Romania are not far away in June.  Before that she has her first race for her country in a different category – running only.

“I have the England race for my age group – the Simply Health 10K in Birmingham so lots happening!” 

We wish her well and eagerly await the results.

Lisa’s profile

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