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Meet Rich Roll - one of 2009's Men's Fitness Magazine's "25 Fittest Guys in the World," and dedicated vegan

11/24/09

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Rich is a man of many hats. A husband, a father of 4, an entertainment attorney, filmmaker, writer as well as a passionate endurance athlete who recently placed 11th at the 2008 Ultraman World Championships.

Considered by many to be one of world's most daunting and grueling endurance races on the planet, Ultraman Hawaii is a 3-day / 320 mile double-ironman distance triathlon that circumnavigates the entire Big Island.  Limited to only 35 carefully selected invitation-only participants from all over the world, Day 1 involves a 6.2 mile ocean swim immediately followed by a 90 mile cross-country cycling race.  Day 2 is a 170 mile cycling race.  And the event culminates on Day 3 with a 52 mile double marathon run on the searing hot lava fields of the Kona coast.

In his first time out after a 20-year respite from competitive sports and only 6 months of training, Richard clocked the 2nd fastest swim split, finished 11th overall and was the 3rd fastest American.

Having competed at the global level as a world ranked swimmer at Stanford University in the late 80's, Richard has a robust and accomplished athletic background. But he literally hung up the suit in 1989 and never looked back. But by age 40, Richard was 35 pounds overweight and completely out of shape. It was time for a major life change. To celebrate his 40th natal birthday as well as his 10th anniversary in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, in 2006 he overhauled his diet, became a dedicated vegan, put on his running shoes and jumped back into the pool. It wasn't long before ambition took hold and his quest to participate in Ultraman slowly began. Two years later and 35 pounds lighter, he surprised the triathlon & ultra communities by not only becoming the first vegan to complete the event, but by finishing in the top 10 males, despite never having even previously competed in a single ironman distance event.

In 2009, Richard plans on building on his success in 2008 by returning to the Ultraman World Championships in November looking for a top finish.

In 2010 he plans on competing at the Badwater - a 135 mile run across Death Valley in July - and the Marathon des Sables - a 6 day 151 mile run across the Sahara Desert in Southern Morocco.

In addition, Richard is an advocate on behalf of green living and plant based nutrition for athletes. He is currently working on a lifestyle and nutrition book for performance athletes and the everyman.

Rich lives in Malibu Canyon with his wife Julie Piatt, his two stepsons Tyler and Trapper, and his two daughters, Mathis and Jaya.  Julie is an accomplished artist, musician, healer and yoga teacher.  Check out Julie's website JAI SEED!

And when he's not training, practicing law or spending time with his wife and kids, he's writing and developing film properties to produce and/or direct.  Please check out his award-winning short film "Down Dog", the feature version of which is currently in development.

 



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Wow, great comeback story! He looks great for a 40 something! I would've guessed mid-twenties from the photo. This story and the Ricky Williams story are great inspirational pieces for us vegan athletes - however modest or extreme our goals.

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droooool, lol

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