Damian Hall, a plant-based runner who chose the vegan diet mainly for environmental reasons, has won the 268 miles 2023 ultramarathon The Spine Race, which crosses the Pennine mountain range in the north of England. This tough race includes 13,000 metres of height gain, and this year there were very adverse weather conditions, including very cold temperatures and high winds. Hall posted on Instagram “The weather was feisty enough for goggles early on and a bit spicy on the Cam High Road too”. It took him 84 hours and 36 minutes to finish the race. Jack Scott also crossed the final line at the same time as Hall but lost due to a penalty point.
Hall said in 2021 “I broke three records last year and they are important but they are not the most important thing… For each of those records I did them without animal products fuelling me. Also without creating any plastic waste, which is much more difficult actually. Plus picking up litter as I went which my team helped me to do.”
Hall has had seven records and Fastest Known Times. He’s represented Great Britain at the Trail World Championships and has run four Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc races, and the Marathon des Sables, which Fiona Oakes, another vegan marathon record holder, also ran. She competed in over 100 marathons and finished in the top 20 in two of the world’s Major Marathon series (Berlin and London), along with winning the Main Start and placing top 20 in the Great North Run. Oakes became vegan for the animals, and she runs a vegan animal sanctuary in Essex, England, called Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary, where more than 500 animals take refuge.