Scott Jurek is known as the best ultrarunner of all time. During his career he has won the Hardrock Hundred, the Badwater Ultramarathon, the Spartathlon, and the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.
Jurek grew up hunting and killing his food, after he was given a rifle at the age of 10, but when he attended a ski camp that served vegetarian food his interest was piqued. Jurek noticed that the more he ate vegetarian and vegan food, the better he felt. But it wasn’t until years later, when Jurek began cutting out different animal products from his diet, and testing the results, that he realised a plant-based diet was optimum and gave him the best running performances.1Jurek, S. & Friedman, S. 2012. Eat Vegan & Run. Runner’s World. Available: https://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-weight-loss/a20795785/eat-vegan-run/ [Accessed 6 May 2021].
Jurek was featured in the 2018 documentary The Game Changers about the benefits of a plant-based diet for athletes.
“As an athlete, I was ostensibly dedicated to health, which would lead to optimal performance (…) I learned that the standard Western diet—for a long time my diet—rich in animal products, refined carbohydrates, and processed food, has been linked to three of the most common causes of death in our country: heart disease, cancer, and stroke. I read that diabetes affects nearly nine percent of Americans, and that type 2 diabetes, once nearly unheard of in children, is on the rise, bringing with it a host of complications, such as kidney failure, blindness, and amputations.
I didn’t realize it then, but that summer marked the beginning of my lifelong commitment to learning about food, to eating better, and to living more consciously.”1Jurek, S. & Friedman, S. 2012. Eat Vegan & Run. Runner’s World. Available: https://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-weight-loss/a20795785/eat-vegan-run/ [Accessed 6 May 2021].