Rich Roll: Vegan Ultra Athlete
Having competed as a competitive swimmer at Stanford University in the late 80’s, Richard has an accomplished athletic background. But he literally hung up the suit in 1989 and never looked back. But by age 40, Richard was close to 50 pounds overweight and completely out of shape. It was time for a major life change.To celebrate his 40th natal birthday as well as his 10th anniversary in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, in 2006 he overhauled his diet, became a dedicated vegan, put on his running shoes and jumped back into the pool. It wasn’t long before ambition took hold and his quest to participate in Ultraman slowly began. Two years later and close to 50 pounds lighter, he surprised the triathlon & ultra communities by not only becoming the first vegan to complete the event, but by finishing in the top 10 males, despite never having even previously competed in a single ironman distance event.
In 2009, Richard returned to Ultraman for the 25th Anniversary of the race twice the athlete he was the year prior. Despite a stacked field, Richard took home first day honors with a blistering 2:21 swim victory (6th fastest of all time) and a third fastest bike leg to win the day with a 10 minute lead on the field. On Day 2 Richard suffered a serious bike crash but managed to salvage the day in 6th place overall. With an injured knee and shoulder Richard nonetheless went on to a 7:51 Day 3 double-marathon to hold onto 6th place overall.
In addition, Richard is an active advocate on behalf of plant based nutrition for athletes, a motivational speaker and active social networker and blogger.
Rich lives in Malibu Canyon with his wife Julie Piatt, his two stepsons Tyler and Trapper, and his two daughters, Mathis and Jaya.
From Rich's proile section at RichRoll.com