Scott Jurek is an American ultramarathon runner who has won many of the most prestigious endurance races in the World, while eating an entirely plant-based diet.
Raised in Proctor, Minnesota, Scott grew up with a strong connection with nature through hunting, fishing and camping with his family. He stopped eating meat in 1997 and became a vegan in 1999.
His impressive endurance running career includes the following accomplishments:
- Won the Western States 100 a record seven consecutive years (1999-2005)
- Won the Badwater Ultramarathon twice (2005 and 2006)
- Won the Spartathlon 153 mile race from Athens to Sparta in Greece three consecutive years (2006 to 2008)
- Holds the US record for 24 hour distance running at 165.7 miles
He attributes his plant-based diet as the key to his superior athletic performance and recovery.
In his book ‘Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness’ Jurek explains how adopting a vegan diet improved his performance:
‘The better I ate, the better I felt. The better I felt, the more I ate. Since going vegan I had lost a layer of fat – the layer that came with eating the cookies and cakes and Twinkies and cheese pizza that so many omnivores and even vegetarians gulp down. I learned that I could eat more, enjoy it more, and still get leaner than I had ever been in my life. When I went vegan I started eating more whole grains and legumes, fruit and vegetables. My cheekbones seemed more pronounced, my face more chiseled. Muscles I didn’t even know I had popped out. I was eating more, losing weight, and gaining muscle – all on a vegan diet’.