Training for excellence in sports is challenging, but Lisa Gawthorne takes on bigger challenges by competing in different events – at the international level. She’s represented Great Britain in Cross Country and road races of 5K and 10K. In Duathlon she’s run, cycled, and ran again to take the European Gold and then World Gold. Track athletics is a different discipline, and she’s recently competed in the European Masters Championships in Poland, making an impact on the 40+ age category.

In the 3K final she ran a determined race to record a personal best. “I ran to my coach’s script in order to secure a PB”, she says; “That meant taking some responsibility and just managing my own race out at the front until the final 800 meters when the beasts unleashed their mega speed for some awesome finishes. Great to be around this talent!”. She finished with a massive 12-second personal best, 2 seconds inside her outdoor best and 5th in Europe with 10:44:19. “I didn’t really think it was possible as I’ve had a few issues back wise of late and not in peak form but belief and confidence and the best coaching I could ask for from TRS Coaching got me there!”. Lisa also ran in the 800 meters final, where she said “the nerves were off the scale.” She finished in 2:31, seventh place with a massive 7 seconds off her personal best. Returning to the track for the 1,500 metre final, she finished in 5:06, bettering her previous best by 7 seconds and taking 4th.

Lisa Gawthorne 2024 European Masters 2024 3k 01

Lisa has been vegetarian since age 6 and vegan since age 21 – over half her life. At 42, she is still getting faster which seems improbable, especially at the relatively short distances of 800 and 1500 metres. However, removing animals from her plate was not motivated by hopes of athletic performance. “I am a huge animal lover and that was originally my reason for going veggie at the young age of six”, she says. “Going vegan was definitely something I was working towards as I was veggie for many years and wanted to cut out the dairy.”

Since then she has also brought veganism to the masses through business. As a managing director of Bravura, she markets vegan confectionery including marshmallows and liquorice. The new personal bests are something which Lisa feels conflicts with some of the unsupportable claims of vegan sceptics. However, she feels that the nutrients she takes from her vegan diet are part of her success: “I think the fact I am getting faster and still hitting new PBs across so many distances clearly shows that progression in sport doesn’t have to revolve around the old school beliefs that you need to be eating meat or consuming dairy to do that. Eating a vegan diet that is predominantly whole foods-based really nourishes the system and for me, it’s shown that it’s perfect for giving me all I need in the game of getting faster.”

Make sure to check out Lisa and Bravura, as well as her profile on Great Vegan Athletes.

• This article was submitted by Great Vegan Athletes. •

Great Vegan Athletes is a not for profit website run by ethical vegans.  They aim to address outdated stereotypes regarding strength and fitness among vegans, and encourage people to try veganism.  They’ve been running since 2010 and have profiled hundreds of elite athletes across a diverse range of sports. As well as on their website they can also be found on Facebook, X and Instagram.