Please help us congratulate Laura Kline, the absolutely amazing vegan athlete, who just competed in the Vagamon Ultrail in Kerala, India! This race challenges runners with 90km, almost 56 miles, of trail running through fascinating Indian landscapes. Laura performed a fantastically strong race coming in as the first woman and the third runner overall.
Laura lives in Syracuse, New York and we are extremely proud to have her as part of our community. Anyone who has met her is bound to love her positive attitude and sparkling personality.
We met Laura and talked to her about her running and veganism. Her story is packed with successful racing and inspirational thoughts about training and diet. Laura started running after college when she lived in Southern California. She tells us that running was the thing to do there. Soon, she signed up for her first 5k race and from then on she was hooked on wanting to improve. “I wanted to do the best I absolutely can”, she tells us, “and I don’t like doing anything easy”. And she sure has proven that – her best shows tremendously impressive results. Laura fell in love with everything about running and started to sign up for more races. At the same time as she started running, she went vegetarian, so her first three years as a runner Laura was vegetarian.
Her running improved very quickly and she was fast to climb up the ranks. Living in Southern California, she was then also exposed to a lot of triathlons. Of course, Laura took on that challenge, as well. She bought a bike, learned how to swim and read books on how to train for her first race. No one is surprised to hear her say, “I enjoyed how difficult it was”.
She started competing in duathlons, which are races where one runs and bikes. In her first duathlon race, Laura qualified for the world championship. This was in 2004, but she did not compete the world championship until 2005. That race was held in Australia and she returned to the US with a gold medal in her age group. She was 9th overall in that race, which is an incredible effort!
It was also in 2005 that Laura went vegan. She did so two months before the World Championship in Australia. Her decision was based on ethical arguments. She had learned about the behind the scenes of the dairy industry and for her there was no way not to be vegan. She says, the most difficult part about that transition was her family. At first, they had a hard time accepting her new lifestyle. Laura’s advice to omnivores is that they should at least try a vegan diet. She says, no one who tries a vegan diet feels worse. Energy levels often increase, athletes experience better recovery, and it makes you feel better as a person because you are doing something positive for the animals, your health and the environment. Athletes, who are out in nature, should have an urge to protect it. She also points to the fact that our eating habits affect our planet.
Laura has competed in an impressive number of World Championships, National Championships and races and achieved amazing results.
Fast forward to 2013, when she lived in Pennsylvania. That is when she got into trail and ultra-running. An ultra-race is a race longer than a marathon. She met wonderful group of trail runners in PA and fell in love with the sport. That same year, she competed in a 50k (31 miles) race. Do we need to say that she won the race?! Laura continued to compete in multi-sport races and ultras, but in 2015 she felt she needed to pick one sport because the training for ultras takes up a lot of time. So, 2016 was the first year that she competed in ultra-races only. She kickstarted her ultra-career running a 50 mile championship in California and set her personal record of 7h 53 minutes. She came in 11th, which was a remarkably good result!
In 2018 Laura suffered an injury, which took her out for the season. The race she just ran in India was her comeback after that injury. Seeing her result makes it clear that she is back to smashing the field and spreading her positive and compassionate attitude along the way.
We thank Laura for speaking with us and we wish her all the best for her future athletic endeavors!
Also check out her main sponsor Unived, a vegan company that produces various plant-based nutritional products.
Vegan Runner, Laura Kline, places third in Vagamon Ultrail – Kerala, India
Do you know a local vegan that we could talk to and feature here? Email us!