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Vegan Ultramarathoner Vlad Ixel has already racked up six wins this year.
Despite hitting 30, the athlete shows no sign of slowing down, though he says his age is making him think about how he races.
Ixel has just come out of an intense stretch, with 12 races in eight weeks, where his focus has been on speed – not distance.
He says: “I’ve done a few shorter races as I want to try and make the most out of my old age of 30 and try and develop my speed a little.
His 2018 victories so far include a 12k, 25k, and the MSIG Sai Kung 22k where his win took the course record. He then won the Sun Life 5k ahead of the Translantau 25k.
The Translantau is a set of three races on coastal trails – the 25 km includes 1200 metres of height gain and has a 7 ½ hour cut-off time.
Ixel’s win gave him the course record. He has won the other two distances (50km and 100km), and holds two of the three course records.
He says: “When I started running with my first event was a marathon and after that I did four years of almost only ultramarathon racing so it’s nice to change things up a little and work on different parts of my running like speed and leg turn over.”
Bike and water
Last year Ixel adapted well to swimming and cycling – despite having barely trained on two wheels.
He’s already made incredible progress.
“I did my first ever half Ironman two weeks ago and finished fifth in my category which got me a place in the Half Ironman championships in South Africa later on this year,” he said.
Qualifying for the championships is an amazing achievement for an inexperienced triathlete, which is testament to the incredible fitness Ixel has built up.
He also feels that the change has done him good, saying: “I think that mixing up my training and racing is a part of my overall big picture of my running career.
“I’ve been lucky to stay injury-free for more than five years, and now dropping my weekly mileage from 160km average a week to 70-80k average a week has been a good break for my body.”
“I would like to do two-three Half Irons Mans over the Summer, as I enjoy mixing up my training with cycling and swimming,” he adds.
“I only started cycling and swimming eight months ago so I really enjoy learning and improving in both sports right now.”