Vegan rider, Dorothy Liviabella, has won the Mountain Mayhem event hosted at Gatcombe Park, just south of Gloucester, which lasts a staggering 24 hours, covers over 160 miles and ascends the equivalent of two thirds of the way to the top of Everest.
Two and a half thousand riders took park in the race, mostly in teams of two, four, five and ten. However, Dorothy competed as a solo rider, making her win even more impressive.
Dorothy did her first triathlon in London in 2009 and told Vegan Life: “I managed to get a good time and realised I was quite good at the multi-sport events and since I had then bought a bike and a wetsuit, thought I better continue, to make the most of this investment.
“I started to train, and went from strength to strength, qualifying for the World Championship in New Zealand in 2012 and London in 2013 and then competed in the European Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016 – getting Bronze medal in 2015 in Geneva. “
Dorothy and Tony, her husband, went vegan two years ago after watching documentaries (Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy) and reading books (Eat Like You Care and Meat Logic) to educate themselves about the meat, egg and dairy industries. Tony said: “I simply couldn’t justify eating or using animal products based on what I now knew. The health and environmental aspects were an added bonus but ultimately, it was about the animals and not wanting to support anything related to harming them.
“Once you make the connection, it’s hard to un-see the cruelty so staying vegan hasn’t been a problem at all. I’m very grateful of all the work people do to raise awareness as it’s the only way things will change.”
Dorothy noticed that her performance improved drastically once she gave up dairy. She told Vegan Life: “It’s hard to explain but I felt lighter and cleaner on the inside and felt like I had much better energy levels. I lost fat and for the first time, started to see lean muscle in my body. I definitely feel better during and after training and races on a plant-based diet and after doing a 24 hour event recently, felt good enough to train again after just 48 hours. Whilst I still eat a few vegan cakes and treats, the nutritional density of my diet is now so much better as now it is mainly fruit and veg, beans, nuts and rice.”
Dorothy plans to take on the half Ironman in August and the Jenson Button Triathlon in July.