First, we brought you sexy vegetarians over 50. Now, we bring you sexy vegetarian marathon runners! By sheer coincidence, two newspapers-one in Ohio and the other in Pennsylvania (unfortunately now available only as a paid article)-recently published articles about marathon runners who are both vegan and over 65. Actually, Mike Fremont, of Glendale, Ohio, is over 85! In June, he broke yet another marathon record, this time for an 87-year-old (he previously broke marathon records when he was 81 and 83). Fremont attributes his stamina to his vegan diet, which he adopted 18 years ago after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. “If someone told you if you became a vegan, you could set a record in the marathon, would you do it?” he told a reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer. “That’s my story.”
The other star marathoner, 67-year-old Barbara Ellicott, overcame tremendous odds-not once but twice-to compete in the London Marathon earlier this year. In 1994, Ellicott was attacked by a dog and bitten on her calf so severely that she suffered nerve damage. Her doctors told her she would never be able to run again. In the ensuing years, as depression set in, she overate and gained weight. In 1999, Ellicott’s daughter convinced Ellicott to accompany her to a vegetarian festival-and she hasn’t eaten meat since. She shed 75 pounds, and her cholesterol level, which had skyrocketed, returned to normal. She also started running again and, in 2001, completed the Boston Marathon. Three years later, Ellicott suffered another setback: She was diagnosed with Lyme disease, which had damaged her heart. Once more, she was told she would never run again. But a year later, she ran another marathon. “I found out the reason I’m alive is that I’m on a plant-based diet-no meat and no cholesterol,” she told New Jersey’s Daily Record. “My cholesterol is so low that my heart was actually able to balance.”
Think these two outstanding vegan athletes are anomalies? Don’t tell Martina Navratilova, a vegetarian who won a mixed doubles championship just one month shy of her 50th birthday. Don’t breathe a word to Prince Fielder, the vegetarian slugger who just won the 2009 All-Star Game Home Run Derby. And whatever you do, don’t kick sand in the face of Mac Danzig, the vegan mixed martial arts King of the Cage World Champion. Still not convinced? Read about other outstanding vegetarian athletes here.