A 66-year-old athlete has secured first place in a grueling 48-hour ultramarathon in Massachusetts. Trishul Cherns, who ran 142.5 miles (229 kilometers) during his latest race, credited his vegan diet for his success.
Earlier this month, runners took on a 1.9-mile perimeter loop trail in Windsor as part of the eighth edition of the Notchview Ultra. Cherns’ event kicked off on July 8, and according to organizers, participants endured heat, high humidity, and nearly 24 hours of rain during their races.
Cherns is from Hamilton in Canada but now lives in New York. His running career, so far, has spanned more than four decades. During this time, he has raced more than 46,000 miles (74,000 kilometers) – not including training – with some single events covering 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) in length.
Cherns has broken more than 110 Canadian ultrarunning records, and in 2021, he polished off his 300th ultramarathon.
Rise of vegan ultrarunners
In a new interview, Cherns spoke to Canadian Running about his most recent victory in Massachusetts. “My success definitely comes from my diet,” he told the publication. “I’m a vegan, and that’s an anti-inflammatory diet. I’m trying to prevent inflammation in my body because these are stressful events, so I’m trying to make it as easy as possible.”
It’s a growingly common approach in the sporting world, as the health benefits of plant-based eating become more widely understood. Earlier this year, fellow vegan ultrarunner Austin Meyer also credited the anti-inflammatory nature of his diet as key to his success, saying that eating whole plant foods allows him to recover more quickly.
Similarly, in April, longtime vegan athlete Lisa Gawthorne said her diet helped her secure gold in the European duathlon championships the month prior.
‘Age is not a limit’
Speaking to Canadian Running, Cherns added that “meditation and spirituality” are also integral parts of his athletic career. “Inner peace and stillness give me strength,” said the runner, who is also a certified massage therapist and president of the Global Organization of Multi-Day Ultramarathoners (GOMU).
Cherns hopes his triumphs can act as inspiration for others, and as a reminder that “age is not a limit.”
“I still feel 30 inside, and I’m beating guys that are 20, 30, 40 years younger than me. So I think the message is, no matter what your age is, keep going and keep doing what you’re doing,” the athlete explained.
“I want to keep pushing my goals so that running is all a new adventure for me. I’ve run more than 300 ultras – in the next five years I’d like to bring that to 500,” he said. “Ultimately, can I do 1,000 ultra marathons in my lifetime? You know, that’d be cool.”
“I’m trying to go for the stars. There’s no reason why you can’t go for the stars, no matter what age you are.”