The 100-Year-Old Vegan Athlete: ‘Diet Has Determined My Existence’

Mike Fremont sets marathon world records on a meat-free diet


3 Minutes Read

Mike Fremont running Mike Fremont celebrated his 100th birthday this year - Media Credit: Trail Runner

Mike Fremont turned 100 in February, celebrating with a run around his Vero Beach neighborhood in Florida.

The centenarian has followed a vegan diet since the age of 69. After a cancer diagnosis, doctors offered Fremont life-saving surgery. But instead, he turned to whole food plant-based nutrition to regain his health.

“I said no, I was going on a diet!” Fremont told Great Vegan Athletes.

He continued: “In two and a quarter years the tumor began to bleed, and I was operated upon. The surgeon looked for metastasis in 35 places and found zero. In other words, my macrobiotic diet, becoming a vegan diet, becoming a whole-foods plant-based diet, killed the metastases!”

Research suggests that plant-based diets may help to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. In February, the European Parliament backed meat-free dining as a way to lessen the likelihood of contracting the disease. 

A whole-foods plant-based diet is not scientifically confirmed as a viable treatment for existing cancer.

A vegan diet for record-breaking athletic performance

A passionate runner since the 1950s, Fremont has always maintained his fitness levels. In his later years, the athlete (who cites canoeing as another favorite pastime) set multiple single-year age-group world records for marathon distance races. His 88 and 90 age-group records remain intact.

Fremont continued to run five miles three times a week into his nineties. Solo kayaking and bodyweight resistance workouts are also regular workout additions. 

Extreme endurance athlete and fellow plant-based sportsman Rich Roll asked Fremont what he credits for his continued strength.

“What is it like to be 100?” Roll asks in a video posted to his TikTok platform.

“These, believe it or not, are the very best years of my life,” Fremont replied.

“How are you able to not just run marathons and half marathons in your late eighties and over the course of your nineties, but also set world records?”

What is the secret to longevity here?” Roll asks.

“No question in my mind, absolutely, it is diet that has determined my existence. My continued existence and my beautiful health,” Fremont revealed with a grin. 

A hero on the vegan athletic scene

The community that runs together, stays together, according to Fremont’s close friend and frequent running partner Harvey Lewis. An elite ultramarathon runner, Lewis follows a vegan diet and has twice won the ‘hardest footrace in the world,’ the Badwater Ultramarathon.

Lewis suggested a gentle 5k with Fremont, to celebrate his birthday.

“I asked him about the Flying Pig Marathon and if he was interested in doing the 5k, as we have done it the past couple of years,” Harvey told Great Vegan Athletes. “He said, ‘I don’t feel it’s really a race unless we do 10k with a big grin.’ No arguing with Mike. 10k it is!”

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