Katie and Gwen here, founders of Plant Positive Running.
We are starting a movement of Plant Positive Runners and Plant Positive people alike.
We are in the process of starting a non-profit that will inspire and change the world.
We start with passion..
Hey guys, Katie here of Plant Positive Running. I believe in being positive and that anything is possible if we put our minds to it. I have a deep passion for running in the mountains and plant based nutrition. I love the outdoors and pushing the limits of what I am capable of, both physically and mentally. I have this epic life partner and husband, you guys may know him as Gwen :)
I love ice cream (banana nice cream of course) espresso and cereal and sometimes a big bean and rice burrito! I have dedicated my life to chasing my passions and making my dreams come true. I believe that by living my life this way, I am blazing the path for others to follow, inspiring and setting an example of change.
I am completely obsessed with our dogs, Sandpoint Idaho, being outside, good food, traveling, exploring, my family and really cool sisters, good coffee and having a blast. I strive to live every day with a fresh outlook and have the best freaking day possible!
Everyday, I try to become a better version of myself by learning, training, following my heart. That’s what brought me to eating a plant-based diet. I want to make sure my foot print is minimal, and I cause the least amount of suffering on this planet. It also happened to give me the best health and performance I have ever had! I hate judging people so I don’t. I lead by example, if it inspires other that’s great, if not that’s ok.
I don't pretend to be an expert in anything, but I know I do my best with what I have. I always want to be fully honest with myself, so when I discover that I am wrong, I am grateful for figure that out! These are my core values that I apply everyday in everything I do!
The result is a passionate life of enjoying trail running to the max, eating a delicious whole foods plant based diet in massive quantities that most would consider not socially acceptable!
Believe it or not, I have not always been this happy and healthy. I grew up in North Idaho, participated in sports, did well in school, but was very confused and lost within. I always knew that I wanted to help animals and others but I just didn’t know how. I became vegetarian at age 7, which turned out to be a very unhealthy diet for me because I was consuming so much dairy to supplement the meat that I was not eating.
This vegetarian diet high in saturated fat from lots of cheese caused me to gain a layer of fat around my tummy, it cased very bad acne that I struggled with for years, it weakened my immune system and I caught every cold and flu that came my way, and it left me feeling unsatisfied with my body and mind. Ultimately this lead to heavy drinking, partying and a horrible phase of my life where I treated my body and mind so poorly. I was not happy with who I was, and so I masked it with alcohol and comfort food.
Then something changed. I was pretty much at rock bottom and had hit what I think was my first “mid-life-crisis”. It was then that I had a thought that changed my life.. “I am not stuck here, it is not too late to change my life path”… I pondered this for a week or so, and was extremely confused about it because I didn't know what to do, all I knew was I was not happy where I was. It was only a matter of time before the universe sorted this out for me, and within 2 weeks of this crisis my mom called and had something to tell me that would change the course of my life. She told me about Sea Shepherd.
I discovered that Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was freaking bad-ass and I was so inspired about how they send ships with volunteer crew down to Antarctica to stop the illegal Japanese Whaling Fleet from killing whales. A flame was ignited deep within and I knew I had found my true calling. I dropped everything that I was doing in my life to actively pursue a crewing position on their ships. My persistence, passion and dedication paid off and I was offered a position on one of the Sea Shepherd Ships. This was the experience that started my journey to ultimate health and fitness.
The ships are 100% vegan, and so I became vegan, which was just what I needed. I found myself excited to learn about everything behind the vegan diet, from compassion to nutrition and I wanted to know more. I met Gwen on board the ship and we got together quickly due to our passion for protecting our environment, our love of animals, health and fitness. We traveled from Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, France, to Africa together, adventuring as vegan fitness lovers. We couldn’t get enough and so we decided to take our education and life to the next level, so we decided to become Holistic Sports Nutritionists. We studied Plant-Based sports nutrition together and we loved every minute of it.
We were not done, we wanted to know more, we wanted to experience more and we wanted to help more people and animals. I decided that I wanted to be a yoga instructor, a group fitness instructor, and a lifestyle and health coach. So I took all the steps necessary to do this. This was made fun and exciting because Gwen was moving along the same path, and he became a running coach and then a tennis coach. We want to do it all, and we want to have more and more fun every day.
I have been with Sea Shepherd ever since, taking breaks from living on the ship to travel and experience life off the ship. I know that by health coaching, I can not only help other people find happiness in the life they live through nutrition and life coaching, but that I can help animals at the same time. Being a vegan to me is the most rewarding thing ever, it is so spiritually delightful and peaceful, it nourishes my body and mind in perfect harmony and it allows the animals and planet to undergo the least possible impact by my existence.
I have taken on some pretty big goals and accomplishments with my running since I have started this journey! I ran my first race ever in France July 2013, and it was a 36 mile Ultra-Marathon through trails along the ocean near Gwen’s home town! (Before this I had never even imagined that I would run a marathon, let alone get into distance running). Guys, If I can do this and make this transformation into a runner, I assure you anyone can! After that first ultra, my life was turned upside down.. I realized that crazy shit was possible.. with the right mind-set, the right nutrition and the right training.. we are capable of anything…
My love for running and exploring this side of myself has manifested into a deep love for running in the mountains. Today I am blazing a path for others to follow. I am setting goals and sticking to them. I am running every day in the mountains and enjoying the outdoors. I am living the life of my dreams. I am living in the moment and I live my life with deep passion and love for everything I do. This fuels my training for whatever I have coming up.. weather it be a 50 mile trail race or my first 100 mile ultra!!!
I am here to share my story with you, to inspire you, and to show you that you can change your life. It is not too late, and you can do it now.
For the love of running, plants and animals, Katie.
Gwen has always been doing everything 100%, with a goal of helping other and making the world a better place! It started back in high school, when Gwen enrolled with the firefighters of his town. For 2 and a half years, Gwen was giving all of his free time to help his community. Later, Gwen decided to join the military police to try to protect his community and bring some justice. Doing very good during the military classes, he was able to join a special unit where they trained intensively everyday to be ready to deal with any situation. But with a lot of ambition, he started dreaming bigger, dreaming about something bigger, and that’s when he found Sea Shepherd, the most active conservation organisation in the world. To be able to join the crew, Gwen went to Marine Engineering school for 4 years.
As a marine engineer, Gwen got selected immediately to join the crew of the Bob Barker, one of Sea Shepherd’s ship. Good things kept happening, Katie arrived in his life, and a few months later one of the most successful Antarctica campaign where 932 whales have been saved, thanks to one of the most intense confrontation with the illegal whalers. His love for sports and health called him back. After 4 years fighting for the oceans, Gwen went back to school and studied Sports Nutrition at the University of Natural Health. As you could guess, Gwen being everywhere, he also got certified running coach (RRCA) and tennis coach (USPTA Elite). During the 2015/2016 season, Gwen has been coaching some of the best junior players in the world at the academy Sanchez-Casal in Naples, Florida.
Now Gwen is thriving on a plant-based diet, competing in ultra-trail running.
Some of his best performances are:
- 1st Place - Spokane River Run 50k 2017
- 1st Place Le Grizz 50 Mile Ultramarathon 2016 (Montana State USA Track&Field Championship)
- 1st Place "Dig Your Grave" Ultra Marathon 30k- 2014
- 2nd Place "Dig Your Grave" Ultra Marathon 27miler - 2016
- 2nd Place - 56 km trail running “Raid du Golfe” 2009 - 230 th overall / 2nd age group
- 50 km USA National Championship trail running 2014
- 30th overall Ironman 70.3 Miami 2015
- 596th Key West Half Marathon 2016 - 5th overall -2nd age group
- Ft. Lauderdale Half Marathon 2016 - 2nd age group
If you have any fitness/nutrition question, he is the man!
Favorite sports: trail running, road and mountain biking, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, Stand Up Paddle, snowboarding, tennis...
Favorite food: mexican!
Favorite places: Idaho, Maui, Hawaii, Bretagne (France), Alps, Western Australia, NZ