Hi there! My name is Mark Emmerson and welcome to Trail Running Vegan.

Snowdonia trail marathon

At the age of 45 I was an overweight, out of breath, 20 a day smoking wreck. I had heart palpitations and struggled to get up the stairs with my 5’9″ 220lb frame.

You could safely say I was on the road to ruin and without a doubt an early grave the way I was going – and that is no exaggeration.

I had previously come from a military background and at a young age was very fit and played multiple sports, most notably football.

At the age of 35 I had been smoking for 18 years, was starting to pile on the pounds and struggled with some sports I loved. The downward spiral had begun.

So what Changed?

In 2012, I decided once and for all that I wanted to stop smoking. After many years of failed attempts that led to a strain on my marriage, I decided to give it another go.

Rather than the patches or cold turkey, I bought a book from Amazon called Allan Carrs Only Way to Stop Smoking. It cost me $3 and I had heard it worked for people who wanted to stop.

I read the book and within 3 days I had stopped smoking – 7 years on I’m proud to say I still don’t smoke and have never had any inclination to even start up again.

Unfortunately, with no longer smoking, I turned to silly foods and snacks that piled on the weight. So I decided to start at a local gym – things were going well until New Years Eve 2015 when I slipped a disk in my back!!

9 months of pain, discomfort and lack of exercise were ahead of me. The weight was piling on and I was getting depressed.

I was at the point of going to surgery to correct my herniated disk, which I didn’t really want to do when a consultant asked me if I had considered a Nerve Block injection.

Rather than the Op, I decided on the injection – the best decision I ever made. Pain is gone, now no excuse not to change my life for the better.

Or so I thought! Although cleared up of injury I was still not motivating myself to change my life and the weight continued to rise.

Fast Forward to 2016

I remember the day clearly, 31st May 2016 – Why? My daughter got married the week before and the photos had just arrived and I couldn’t wait to see them. Oh dear, Oh Dear!!

After seeing the photo’s I was absolutely gutted by what I had become. At the rate I was going I would be dead too young and miss out on my 3 kids and new Grandkids. What was I doing???

It was time for action, time for a change.

It didn’t happen overnight but I made a start – I started to do walks, I changed my diet. I actually started the Paleo diet with which I shed 50lbs in 5 months – not bad.

I had started running and was getting fitter and fitter each day.

In December 2016 I decided to change to a Plant-Based Diet (Vegan) and I have never looked back. I have so much energy, my skin is better, my heart rate is 50 bpm resting.

I also decided to take my running onto the trails and away from the roads. Mainly because the roads are boring and not great for your joints and the trails are beautiful.

Where I am Today

Well, today I’m still following the Plant-Based Diet and will never change – everyone should try it even for a short time.

I have run many, many trail races and competed in the UK Trail Running Championships in August 2018.

This was an 86-mile trail race over the Ridgeway Roman Trail in which I finished 8th in my age group and 44th overall in a time of just over 22 hours.

And I made some amazing friends along the way.

Ridgeway Trail Run

I have also competed in numerous other trail races over Marathon and Ultra distances and I have never felt so good in my life.

trail running

Not bad for a guy who thought he was going to die 5 years earlier.

What’s the Moral of the Story

Quite simply, if I can do it, almost anyone can believe me.

The blog is set up to help those just starting out that want to make a change in their life.

Do you want to start running? I can try and give you the information you need to get you started.

Do you want to start a new diet? I did and so can you. It changed my life.

This blog is for you – I want to show you that it is possible to turn things around no matter your age. With the right training and diet, you can do it.

So why not join me and let’s do this together.

All the very best,