2019 vegan athletes – review of the Year

Endurance

We started the year with a post about Senior athlete Ellen Jaffe Jones, who competed in the hotly contested 65-60 category of the Florida Senior Games in six track events.  Incredibly she came away with six medals. (more here ).

She went on to compete at the Nationals, competing in seven events and then the relay, where her team broke the national age group record (more here ).

Ellen was one of a number of endurance athletes we reported on this year.

Another busy athlete was Lisa Gawthorne, who is a managing director of a vegan confectionery company and duathlete.  This year she proved she can also compete in purely running events by representing England over the 10 km distance (more here)

Soon after this she was in Spain for the World Duathlon Championships, taking an impressive 9th in her age group (more here ).  She followed this up with age group Bronze in the Great Britain National 5k Championships (more here ).

Soon after this she was in Romania for the European Championships where she recorded a position of 9th (read more here).

In November she ran for England in the British and Irish Masters’ 6km cross country race, representing Vegan Runners UK.  She took 17th in her age category (more here ).

Known for his performances over extreme distances, Alister Gardner switched to the 26 mile distance to take on the Ottawa Marathon, impressing everyone with his adaptability as he took second (more here).

Later in the year he took on the extremely challenging terrain of the 30km Escarpment race, finishing second (more here).

Prolific trail runner Vlad Ixel returned to a race series he’s made his name in – The North Face endurance series.  Taking on the 50k distance with which he’s less familiar, he recorded an impressive win with few finishing close to him (more here).

This was one of twenty one races entered by Vlad this year; he won sixteen of them.

Retired rugby international Johanna Jahnke took on an unsupported 4000km race across Europe, finishing as the first female pair to do so in time for the finisher’s party (more here).

Triathlete Antoine Jolicouer Desroches achieved a new personal best of 3 hours 53 minutes and 48 seconds and gave him fourth in a tough field at the Chatanooga triathlon, within five minutes of the winner (more here).

Fellow triathlete Sebastjan Gergoric competed over the longer distance at Ironman Switzerland. His time was faster than even he expected, including a 3:09 time for the marathon running leg.  It qualified him for the World Championships, which he has had to decline due to finances (read more here).

Track athlete Andreas Vojta competed at the Austrian nationals and won the 1500m – his 33rd national title.(more here).  Soon after he competed in the European Championships over 3000m and 5000m, taking a win over the longer distance (more here).

Trail runner Yassine Diboun had already broken the record for a much longer trail when he took on the record for the 51 km around Mount St Helens.  He broke the record  in his six hour challenge (more here).

Cyclist Paolo Barbon entered the gruelling 24 hour Bellaria Igea Marina, placing 5th of 14 riders in his age group (more here).

Muscle!

Ali Crowdus, the 10th woman ever to have benched 500 lb received a rare invitation – to lift at the legendary Westside Barbell in Ohio.  The mighty vegan actually broke three of the records open to her, leaving her name permanently recorded on the board there (read more here).

IFBB Pro bodybuilder Torre Washington competed at the IFBB LA Grad Pro Masters and despite the high standards, took fourth (read more here).

Later he was competing at the Canadian Physique Alliance Ben Weider Natural Pro competition, where he was pleased to take 5th of 16 entrants (more here ).

Vegan from birth bodybuilder Jehina Malik competed at the same show, her first stage appearance since a near-fatal road accident that she has done incredibly well to overcome.

Olympic style lifter Ramona Cadogan competed at the Pan American Master Championships  where she won Gold last year, and took Gold again  (read more here).  Later in the year she suffered a back sprain ahead of the Masters World Cup, but still took an impressive Silver (more here).

Powerlifter Glenda Presutti overcame recent injuries to compete at the Australian Masters Nationals.   She broke national records for all lifts, took Gold in her class, and overall in her age category (read more here).

Later in the year she competed in the Australian Masters Games where she broke all three records and the total record again, and was awarded Gold in her age and weight class (more here).

Also down under, Julia Trezise-Conroy competed in the ANZAC Nationals where she beat existing New Zealand record in all three lifts plus the total.  She also won her category and the women’s Open category  (read more here)

Former Great Vegan Athlete of the Year Hulda B Waage smashed her own record when she competed in the Icelandic Benchpress Nationals and benched 150kg (read more here).

She went on to compete at the Icelandic Nationals where she took her fourth title and broke the record for a competition total (more here).

Yolanda Presswood competed in the California State Championships where she qualified for the USPA Drug Tested Nationals in Las Vegas.  She dropped a weight category where she took State National and World records in three lifts.  Competing in the M1 (40-44 category) she became National Champion.  She also entered the Open (no age restriction) category where she tied for 8th 9th and 10th of 27 lifters (more here)

Strongman legend Patrik Baboumian responded to an invitation from 4 times World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw to train and compete.  Shaw expressed doubt that a vegan could be sufficiently strong to compete at the highest level (which Patrik has) and invited Patrik to pick an event for the two to compete in.  Patrik is waiting for a response from Brian!  (Read more here).

Others

Ninja warrior Calle Alexander suffered a break to a bone in his hand that left him with 10 weeks recovery and the nationals in 4 weeks.  An incredible recovery meant he recovered, completed and was soon ranked #10th in the USA (more here)

Peter Siddle played for Australia in a one-day international that made history by featuring three vegan players (more here).

Martial artist James Southwood, veggie from birth, competed at the Budapest Savate Open where he took Gold, and coached nine of his students to seven Golds and a Bronze (more here).  He also won the British title (more here)  James also took another Silver at the European Championships (more here).

Snooker’s Neil Robertson made a maximum 147 break as he won the Welsh Open (more here).   He went on to win the China Open (more here).

He also became the fourth player ever to compile 650 competitive centuries (more here).

In one of the best finals seen, he snatched victory in the Champion of Champions (more here)

Teenage Cody Elkins took a win at the world Paddleball Championships in his age group (more here)    He later won Silver in the Junior Olympics in Racquetball – and Bronze in the age category above his (more here).    In the World Outdoor 3-wall Championships he took two Golds (more here).   In 15 months, Cody won all 4 major junior racquetball or paddleball national championships, completing the ‘tiger slam’.

Snowboarder Nicole Kelly participated in the World Tour (more here).

Cam Awesome made a comeback to the ring, taking the heavyweight national amateur boxing title for Trinidad and Tobago (more here).

Ultradistance athlete Ben Dame gave us an introduction to his revolutionary blood analysis company which has been enabling athletes in particular to find the changes that make the difference to their lives (more here).

The Game Changers revealed the story behind veganism and sport (more here).

 

New athletes

These athletes were added to our site this year!

SuzAnne Llano, vegan bodybuilder

Kelly Colobella, vegan American Football player

Sam Lochoff, vegan motorcycle racer

Maayan Eliasi, vegan bodybuilder

Jehina Malik, vegan bodybuilder

Bryant Jennings, vegan boxer

Nimai Delgado, vegan bodybuilder

Hector Bellerin, vegan soccer player

Dean Maher, vegan mountaineer

Nick Squires, vegan powerlifter

Anthony Mullally, vegan rugby player

Adam Hansen, vegan cyclist

Zack Belknap, vegan bodybuilder

Andreas Vojta, vegan track athlete

Chris Smalling, vegan soccer player

Borja Perez Batet, vegan runner

Shelli Beecher-Seitzler, vegan bodybuilder

Alex Morgan, vegan footballer

Melissa Sundermann, vegan endurance athlete