Vegan Runners member Lisa Gawthorne flew out to the Portuguese island of Madeira last week to take part in the European Non-Stadia 10K Championships which took place on the evening of Thursday 29th October at 8.30pm on the closed streets of Funchal. The race, which attracted runners from ten countries was an age group graded race and Lisa succeeded in bringing home the gold for Great Britain, being crowned as the new age group champion in the V35 category in Europe. Lisa also finished 8th out of all females making that coveted top ten position. Lisa has been vegan for 18 years and vegetarian since age 6 and has always been a very strong advocate of the plant-based diet in athletics. When she’s not running, Lisa is also co-founder and owner of Bravura Foods – a vegan food and drink brand building business and she’s the author of vegan health and fitness book “Gone in 60 minutes”.
We caught up with Lisa after the championship race and she commented “The course was quite hilly and there were lots of cobbled streets so it wasn’t easy but I just kept pushing. The whole experience was amazing and the race was professionally organised to ensure we were all socially distanced, and the atmosphere was great. I really had to work hard for it, I only got into that leading position in the last mile, finishing seven seconds ahead of the next female in my age group from Portugal who took silver. It was so fantastic getting up on the podium for the medals at the victory ceremony as they played the national anthem for me. It’s something I will never forget.”
The celebrations didn’t end there as Lisa formed part of a three-strong female team with who picked up team silver in the 10k. The medal ceremony took part at 11pm and Lisa was up again early the next morning to take part in the Cross-Country Relays so there was not much time for rest. Yet again Lisa’s three strong team performed strongly and brought home the silver medals for Great Britain. Lisa really does epitomise everything we know about plant power!
Lisa adds “The cross-country race setting was so unique, we were 1500m above sea level and you could actually see the clouds below you whilst running! I ran the anchor leg, I went into the final leg not knowing where we were, but all I wanted to do was overtake if possible and I managed to overtake the Portuguese team runner who was in 2nd position up until I overtook so we ended up taking home the silver with Romania finishing in Gold and Portugal in Bronze positions.” Lisa is looking forward to continuing training throughout the winter season and is also looking forward to the World Duathlon Championships that she has qualified for which take place in Holland in Sept 2021.