European Vegetarian Union

Vegetarian / Vegan
Ironman and Ironlady

from EVU News, Issue 4 /1997

'THE FIRST EVER GERMAN IRONMAN WINNER, THOMAS HELLRIEGEL, IS VEGETARIAN AND FOR 6 MONTHS HAS BEEN EATING COMPLETELY FAT-FREE’ said the speaker in a transmission on the German TV station ZDF on Sunday 19 th of October 1997.

Dr. Ruth Heidrich (63):
Vegan World Champion
After I had passed this very interesting news to the IVU-Talk line on Internet, asking at the same time whether someone knew about other (more) vegetarian /vegan Ironman winners, besides Dave Scott (4x World Champion Ironman Triathlete), I got an answer from Ruth Heidrich, herself 6x age group winner of the Hawaii triathlon, which is reckoned to be the hardest competition in the world.: 3.8 km (2.4 mile) rough water ocean swim, 180 km (112 mile) bike ride and 42,2 km (26,2 mile) marathon. All this is done one after the other in one day only.

Dr. Ruth Heidrich has been vegan since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1982 at the age of 47. She has a Ph.D. in Health Management . In the meantime I have come to know the unique (extraordinary) story of her last 15 years: amputation of her breasts at the age of 48, becoming a vegan and fighting for life, starting with vigorous exercise, doing her first Ironman Triathlon, winning her age group 6 times but most of all winning the fight against cancer, those are the stations of her last 15 years. Today, at the age of 63, Ruth Heidrich is not only a World Champion Triathlete, winning about 600 tro-phies, medals and awards (with 60 races for 1997 the highest annual total for a single year!) but also an internationally sought after speaker, has a radio show, is author of two books and is president of the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii and of the Pacific Road Runners Club.

In her book 'A race for life: From cancer to the Iron-man' (ISBN: 0-9604190-2-0, $14,95) she not only tells her story but demonstrates (proves) that with a mix of diet, vigorous exercise and mental conditioning any one can fight disease and depression in a natural way. In a second book: ‘The race for life cookbook’, (£14.95) Ruth Heidrich has collected her healthiest and easiest delicious recipes of a diet consisting of veggies, whole grains and fruit, to keep you fit and lower the risk of most of the ‘western diseases’.

You can get more information by writing to Ruth Heidrich, 1415 Victoria St. 1106, Honolulu, Hi 96822, e-mail:, looking at her homepage:, or coming to the EVU Congress ‘Vegetarian to the Future’ from July 18-23,1999 in Widnau/Saint Gallen, Switzerland where she will be lecturing and probably swimming, biking and running. - Sigrid De Leo

Calling Speakers, Authors and Artists for the EVU Congress 1999

The organisers of the 7 th EVU Congress, which is going to take place from July 18 till 23, 1999 in Widnau/St. Gallen, Switzerland, invite speakers, authors and artists to submit abstracts for possible lectures to the secretariat of the EVU.

The topics range from health issues, the ethics and ecology of nutrition, Calling Speakers, Authors and Artists for the EVU Congress 1999 children’s nutrition, latest studies, to the special topic ’Vegetarian/vegan nutrition and sport-competition’. Member societies of EVU are invited to propose experts.

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