Vegan veteran completes another ultramarathon

Veteran runner Paul Youd is celebrating after completing the Isle of Wight ultramarathon.

29 May 2023

Paul is known for his inspiring level of activity into his senior years, and completed the 106 km trail route aged 85.

“It was a blast – absolutely loved it!” Paul told Great Vegan Athletes. “The worst part was the rivers of viscous mud we had to traverse – they seemed to go on for ages. But the views more than made up for it.”

The Isle of Wight is a large rural island off the South coast of England.  The route covers 65 miles of mainly coastal trail with over 2000 metres of height gain.  PauI finished 172nd out of 248, in 26 hours and 40 minutes.

Vegan runner

Paul’s been vegan for around 20 years and is often seen wearing his Vegan Runners UK vest.

“I’m sure nutrition is a big part” he says. “It was going vegan that cured me of osteoarthritis, and enabled me to run without so much as a twinge. Unlike when I tried to run in my 40s – I gave up after six weeks because of the pain.”

Now he follows advice from Dr Greger including the daily dozen, and tries to reign in his love of cake and chocolate before an event such as this.

“I can recommend Beet-it – on the day of an event I take a 400ml shot before we start, then another one around 25k in.”

“I gave up meat initially to avoid BSE – Mad Cow Disease – in the early 2000s, then I started taking an interest in how dairy and eggs were produced.  I didn’t like what I saw, it took two years for all the blinkers to come off and I went fully vegan.”

More planned

At 85 Paul is not looking to rest on his successes and this is just part of an ongoing set of fitness challenges.  He’s aiming to complete a million press ups by age 90, and is up to about 650,000 so far.  And the recent challenge was his 9th ultramarathon of a planned 100 before age 100.

He’s says he’s inspired by 101 year old vegan athlete Mike Fremont, and the similarities are noticeable, even if Paul is a relative youngster at 16 years his junior.

Paul’s also an ambassador for Running on Plants.  It’s a scheme which encourages participants to run and gives plenty of tips – and measures their progress.

His efforts have been noticed in the press, and Paul has also caught the attention of film makers.  He’s taking part in ‘I could never go vegan’ which looks at aspects including sport, nutrition and health.

And he has two more events coming up soon, 50 km ultras in August and September.  We wish him well!

More on the Isle of Wight challenge