Janette Murray-Wakelin and Alan Murray, are veteran raw vegan runners who ran 366 marathons in 366 days (world record). Janette and Alan are sponsors of VEGAN MARATHON.
Interview by Noita
VMM – Your performance inspired Magà Ettori. Then, Magà Ettori inspired a whole team of runners, who are going to inspire many other runners. Are you proud to be at the origin of this movement?
– Janette: We are proud and honoured to be at the origin of the Vegan Marathon movement.
VMM – What advice would you give to Magà Ettori (websiteVEGAN MARATHON)?
– Janette: Keep following your Truth with passion
VMM – You are sponsors of Vegan Marathon team, why is it important for you?
– Janette: It is important to support each other in spreading the positive and conscious message that will make a difference, and Vegan Marathon is a great way to achieve that.
VMM – VEGAN MARATHON is the biggest team of vegan runners in the world. Are you proud to be their sponsors?
– Janette: Absolutely!
VMM – Vegan Marathon is the vegan team, do you think the medical and sportive worlds are ready for that kind of initiatives?
– Janette: The medical and sportive communities are already aware that there is a growing movement towards a more conscious way of living and vegan athletes worldwide are proving this. Whether they are ready or not, the evidence is there and the Vegan Marathon Team will strengthen that evidence which cannot be ignored.
VMM – Vegan Marathon is the biggest vegan and vegetarian team in the planet (all levels), and tomorrow?
– Janette: Vegan Marathon will continue to grow because more and more athletes, and marathon runners in particular are becoming more conscious about achieving better results through veganism.
VMM – When, how, and why, did you become vegetarian? And vegan?
– Janette: I was 5 years old when I became vegetarian. I did not like the taste of meat nor the texture and found it hard to swallow. My mother said so long as I eat my vegetables I did not need to eat meat. She was aware of the health benefits of eating mainly fruits and vegetables. I later became vegan when I became aware of the cruel truth about the unnecessary raising of animals and using animal products for human consumption. When I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 50, I made some conscious lifestyle choices to achieve an holistic healing, including further improving my vegan diet by choosing to consume a raw (non cooked) plant-based vegan diet so that the food I consume is 100% nutrient-laden in the ideal balance provided by nature.
– Alan: I became vegetarian and then shortly afterwards in 2001 became raw vegan. After meeting several raw vegans and seeing how well they looked, I decided to follow their path.
VMM – Have these changes of nutrition been easy or difficult?
– Janette: Making changes towards better nutrition when faced with a life-threatening prognosis of cancer, was to me, an obvious choice. Therefore it was not difficult to make the change for the sake of my health.
– Alan: After the initial three months of transition, it became very easy.
VMM – You have a really healthy and ecological lifestyle, with your nutrition and your self-sufficient lifestyle, and about sport and even spirituality. Why those choices?
– Janette: Over the years we have learned the importance of achieving health and happiness and a sense of purpose in this life, so we always strive towards achieving these by making conscious lifestyle choices that will make a difference.
VMM – 16 years ago, despite your lifestyle, you were diagnosed with a breast cancer. What was your first reaction?
– Janette: I was initially shocked, since I thought I was already living a healthy lifestyle, then I considered it was a personal challenge to learn more about what I could do to take responsibility for my own health that would make a difference.
VMM – Why did you choose natural medicine instead of a classical chemotherapy?
– Janette: When confronted with the option of a highly toxic treatment that will compromise the body’s system further, it did not make sense to me. What did make sense was to assist the body to heal in the most natural way possible.
VMM – What was your treatment, only natural, or both classical and natural medicine?
– Janette: I chose not to have chemotherapy nor radiotherapy as was recommended through allopathic medicine, but instead chose holistic therapy designed to assist the body in healing naturally. However, I did agree to surgical removal of the existing cancerous tumour, a procedure that revealed the cancer had invaded tissue that could not be fully removed. Retrospectively, knowing what I have learned since, I would not have agreed to invasive surgery that creates trauma to the tissue.
VMM – You said you took the treatment of your cancer as a personal challenge. What do you retain from this stage of life?
– Janette: I prefer to refer to this stage of my life as my ‘journey with cancer’. My personal journey with cancer was a challenge, but it was also a life changing experience from which I retained that seeking the Truth in all aspects of life, and acting upon that Truth through making conscious lifestyle choices, is the True Purpose in this Life.
VMM – You explained these choices to the medical community. What did they reply?
– Janette: Mainly I was warned against choosing a natural therapy instead of the medical treatment. I was also ridiculed and even threatened bordering on blackmail, that if I proceeded with my choices, the medical community would not offer any support. In fact I was told in one instance “not to come back to them when it didn’t work”. However, their attitude and lack of compassion and kindness, or even interest, firmed my resolve to follow my own choices.
– Alan: A medical doctor who was also in our running group, kept telling me to convince Janette to go with the medical protocol because she thought we were not making the right decisions.
VMM – What was your state of mind during the treatment?
– Janette: When I chose to incorporate holistic, natural therapy in my healing journey to recovery, I became surrounded by compassionate therapists and holistic practitioners, who actually cared about me. So my state of mind during the therapy was full of gratitude and hope. I no longer had any fear, as was projected towards me during my initial consultations with the medical community. If I were to use the word ‘treatment’ in my journey with cancer, I would say that the treatment I received from the medical community was extremely negative, while the treatment I received from the holistic community was extremely positive.
VMM – What advice would you give to somebody with the same issue?
– Janette: I would always advise anyone to search for their own Truth. In other words, question everything until you find that knowledge which resonates with you as making the most sense, and that choice with which you are most comfortable and truly believe in, will be the best for you. Do your own research and make conscious choices from the knowledge that you gain, rather than following blindly with what is considered ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’. Trust in your body’s innate ability to reverse, rejuvenate, revitalise, recover and return you to optimal health. Believe in yourself, place the highest value on yourself and the highest priority on your own well-being. Ask yourself, “will my choice make me healthy and happy?” If the answer is “Yes, without a doubt”, then you are well on the way to recovery.
VMM – Your movie “RAW the Documentary” can potentially be selected to the “Festival de Cannes”. Do you think cinema is able to change minds?
– Janette: Absolutely! The Australia, USA, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia Premiere Tours of the film ‘RAW the Documentary’ are receiving rave reviews, but most importantly, we are hearing from people around the world about how the film is inspiring and motivating them to make more conscious lifestyle choices.
– Alan: Getting the film into cinemas will reach more people so yes, the cinema is able to change minds.
VMM – Why was it so important for you to testify?
– Janette: When faced with a life-threatening crisis and we found a way through, we became passionate about sharing the knowledge and experience, and indeed, the Truth that we learned, so that it will make a difference for all living beings, the Earth that is our home and the environment where we live. It is so important for people to “Make the Connection” that by making conscious lifestyle choices, together we can make a difference, for now and for the future.
VMM – You also created a healthcare center. What for? Who can come?
– Janette: After Janette was declared free of cancer we decided to create a Health and Well-being Centre to share the knowledge we had gained from my journey with cancer. The Centre was in Canada and open to everyone. We offered Personalized Conscious Lifestyle Programs and natural health workshops, and within the Centre we provided a raw vegan restaurant, health spa and fitness studio, library and shop, and several holistic practitioners provided their services through the Centre. We operated the Centre for six years before moving to Australia and the Raw Vegan Restaurant still operates today. Now we offer personalized raw retreats at our home in Far North Queensland, Australia. Announcements on RawVeganPath.com
VMM – Why did you become vegan?
– Janette: We became vegan when we became aware of the Truth about the cruelty and unnecessary practice of raising and killing animals for human consumption. We also knew that it is not necessary to eat animals, nor animal products to live a healthy, happy and purposeful life.
VMM – What does veganism represent according to you?
– Janette: In this life we are faced with making choices in everything we do, think and say. Veganism represents the biggest and best choice we can make, as it influences all other choices in life, with kindness and compassion. Veganism will change the way people think and act towards all other living beings. Veganism is the answer to everything.
VMM – You have an unbelievable prize list. Which sportive challenge was the most difficult to achieve?
– Janette: Running the length of New Zealand, 2182 km, 50 consecutive marathons was the most difficult sportive challenge to achieve because at the time we were not fully raw vegan.
VMM – Which one are you the proudest of?
– Janette: Running Around Australia, 15,782 km, 366 consecutive marathons, 10 years after the NZ Run, thereby proving that living a conscious vegan lifestyle makes the difference to physical fitness performance.
VMM – Which one would you like to restart?
– Janette: Neither, there are many more opportunities for physical fitness achievement that we plan to explore.
VMM – Do you think your age is becoming a kind of brake, or not at all? Does getting old scare you?
– Janette: I think we have proven by running 366 consecutive marathons around Australia at the ages of 64 and 68 that age has nothing to do with physical fitness and the mental ability to sporting achievement, if one follows a conscious vegan lifestyle. We are fitter in our later years (now 68 and 72) than we were in our twenties when we were not vegan. So no, age does not scare us.
VMM – what are your next plans?
– Janette: We are currently promoting worldwide our film ‘RAW the Documentary’ (based on our Run Around Australia) and the positive message it conveys. On a physical fitness level, we plan to continue ultra running and walking experiences globally.
VMM – To finish, a few words for our readers?
– Janette: Move towards and/or stay on the vegan path, be conscious of all your lifestyle choices, think and act with kindness and compassion, and you will make a difference.
Barbara or Noita, 30 years old, lead editor. Live in Strasbourg (because in love with storks)