Strong Hearts Vegan Power is a distance running team dedicated to both physical and social advancement through the vegan lifestyle, athletic development and varied means of activism.
Through our running accomplishments and team exposure, we seek to further the cause of animal liberation by establishing ourselves as respected ambassadors for ethical veganism and elite athleticism.
In the summer of 2013, two friends decided to check out this crazy race series called Ragnar. It’s a 200-mile course split between 12 people, and this one in particular went up through the Adirondacks. With that as a basis, they gathered up an all-vegan team, and with a driver, took on the autumnal hills with a positive attitude and placed 26th out of 200+ teams, with the team comprised of runners of all abilities. That was the start of Strong Hearts Vegan Power.
Steam picked up from there, and through various local races, and expanding the Strong Hearts Run Club to include anybody that just wanted to run, word spread and excitement was almost tangible. The 2014 Ragnar Adirondacks had a change-up in team members, but the spirit was the same and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
The real growth came in the cold of that winter as SHVP looked to the coast and eyed Cape Cod. As word spread, our numbers grew, and where it was once a team of 12 runners and 1 driver, we were now looking at 36 runners and 6 drivers, all bringing a message of ethical veganism to the front with bold white on black shirts. In the time that it took for us to get everything arranged for this race, a group of 8 hit the trails of Atlanta to represent Vegan Power in the south. Fired up by that intense sun, we went to the Cape.
Three teams, lettered A, B, and C, took to the roads with fire. After an intense 24(ish) hours, the A Team placed 5th overall, and 3rd in the Mixed Open division. Considering the competition that bested them were mainly collegiate teams…we’ll take it! In doing so, thousands of dollars were raised for Tamerlaine Farm Sanctuary in northern New Jersey.
The three-team setup carried over to the fall of 2015 when we returned to the Adirondacks, and with a “home-court” advantage, the A Team placed second overall, with even more new faces (many of them either new to veganism or to running) coming into the fold and this time raising money for multimedia educational outreach Our Hen House.
2016 was no exception with huge showings at Cape Cod & Adirondacks races! 2017 looks to do the same as we take on Ragnar Poconos with a record five teams! Please see our Results page for a full listing of past races.
While our team has grown to well over 100 members, a few were instrument in the inaugural race and bringing our cause to light. They are:
Scott Spitz: Founder, White Pine Distance Training; Runner’s World cover contest winner
Micah Risk: Co-founder, Lighter; November Project badass, Runner’s World cover model
Jasmin Singer: Co-founder, Our Hen House; Author; owner, really cool glasses
Peter Nussbaum: Co-owner, Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary, entertainment lawyer
Michael Pease: Co-owner, Terri Restaurant NYC
Joel Capolongo: Co-owner, Strong Hearts Café; former Sea Shepherd
Chris Cooney: Co-host, The Vegan Zombie
Laura Kline: World-Champion duathlete
Rachel Atcheson: Director, Campus Outreach for The Humane League
Martin Rowe: Author; Co-founder: Lantern Books
To see our full roster of runners, current and legacy, see our Roster page.
To the Front!