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Zayas aims for fast London Marathon for WWF

Local athlete Andrew Zayas aims to complete the London Marathon on April 23 this year in under three hours while raising money and awareness for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Mr Zayas is between Gibraltar and the UK at present as he completes his medical training. When he does, he plans on returning to the Rock and bring focus to the community on lifestyle, and preventive and functional medicine.

Originally a cyclist, which he admits is his preferred sport, he has been running for three years.

“This will be my second marathon, my first was Sevilla in February 2022. Given how hard it was and the amount of preparation required, I decided to only do another one if I was fortunate enough to secure a place at any of the Big Six,” he said. The Big Six marathons, or the world majors, are London, Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago, New York and Boston.

“Since I’m currently in the UK, London was definitely my top choice and also because of the great stories I’ve heard from past participants, including my brother who did it in 2016,” he added.
He has been training since December and, while he states he may be too optimistic, he aims to do it in under three hours.

While he, like many others who recognise the famous panda logo, knew about WWF, but it wasn’t until he was at an event called Vegfest in the UK a couple of years ago that he learnt more about the charity and the work they do.

“They are the world’s leading independent conservation organisation, working to build a future where people and nature thrive together,” he said.

“Their efforts are global, and they are doing incredible work to safeguard the natural world and tackling climate change.”

“It may come as a shock to many people that the single leading contributor of greenhouse gases derives from animal agriculture. The deforestation required for this, followed by the practice itself. Which is why I could not think of a better charity to run for which aligns with my own passion.”

“There cannot be any personal or economic health without planetary health and going vegan is the biggest positive impact within the power of each of us,” he added.

Mr Zayas has been vegan for over ten years and said that his plant-based diet has “definitely enhanced my energy levels and recovery time.”

“Which is important leading up to a marathon as it means more training days without injury.”

“Replacing pro-inflammatory animal products with anti-inflammatory plant foods also contributes to this.”

“By focusing more on whole foods, specifically, your body seems to reach it’s optimum weight naturally, so I’ve never had to calorie count or obsess over macros.”

“I eat mostly fruit during the day as the natural easily accessible sugars it provides makes it ideal for training or even just a busy day running around the hospital.”

“I never feel that I am sacrificing taste because I really enjoy all of my meals and my diet is infinitely more diverse now, over 99% of edible foods on the planet come from plants, after all.”

“I do enjoy the occasional ‘cheat foods’ in the form of a beyond meat burger or pizza,” he added.

To support Mr Payas go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-zayas1

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