Duathlete and vegan food supplier Lisa Gawthorne has represented Britain again, this time in Romania in the European Championships.
Last time she competed she finished 16th in her age group in 2017, and she was hoping to improve.
The route was on the picturesque city of Târgu Mureş, and the weather was warm.
“I felt really strong so I went off extremely fast from the start” Lisa told Great Vegan Athletes “which wasn’t my best move as I pulled my calf which wasn’t great running and biking with for the rest of the race – but you learn something at every one of these races.”
Despite this she cycled the 20 km section in 37:47 despite being isolated from groups and not being able to benefit from legal drafting.
“The final run leg was more about hanging in there than putting forward any specific race tactics but I was glad to see the finish line more than normal! I’ve not ran since as I am rehabbing the leg so I can come back to the running scene later this year. “
She finished a creditable 8th in her age group.
Eating vegan was relatively easy, despite meat being traditional in a lot of local recipes.
“I was able to eat various vegetable, rice and pasta dishes all of which are useful in the days leading up to a big race for the energy” Lisa says. “The fruit out there was also exceptional. It’s snacks that tend to catch you out and that was pretty accurate there so I was glad to have packed almond milk, vegan protein bars, corn and rice cakes.”
The race came after Lisa had run for her country over 10k, and the switch between multisports and running seems to be helping.
“I would definitely say that cross training across the two disciplines has made me a better runner. I got my 5k PB last year (18.39) and my 10k this year in April (38.53) and these times have fallen right in the middle of my standard duathlon training plans. I feel it gives the body a rest as I used to run every day but I feel that not only goes it offer variety but also offers a better type of active rest before you go again either on a run or on the bike.”
Lisa turned veggie at age 6 and vegan at age 21, heavily influenced by finding out about factory farming. She is now a director of Bravura foods, a supplier of vegan confectionary.