My name is Emilie Tan (nee Nadeau Benoit), I was born and raised in Longueuil (south shore of Montreal) Quebec, Canada. My teenage years were filled with my passion for short track speed skating, a sport I practiced for a total of 12 years. I represented Canada at the Junior World Championships for three years in a row (2002, 2003, 2004) and competed at the 2003 Canada Winter Games in Campbellton/Bathurst, where I earned a total of 5 medals (3 Gold, 1 silver, 1 Bronze).
Feeling my life was not going in a direction I liked, I decided to move to Australia in 2008. I took a one-way ticket (not recommended!), got a working holiday visa and left with only a backpack and a few thousand dollars in my bank account. I travelled around on the first year and decided to settle in Melbourne, a city I now consider my home. I eventually met my now husband Luke, and we married in 2012. I obtained my Australian citizenship in 2015, and I am now a proud dual Canadian and Australian citizen.
In 2012, as I was suffering from fairly debilitating digestive disorders, I decided to give a plant-based diet a try. I never looked back and have been a vegan ever since. Being a big animal lover and a compassionate person, it felt right from the beginning.
With all the extra energy I gained from being finally able to digest my food and finally allow myself to eat nutritious, whole plant food, I decided to train for the 2014 Melbourne Marathon. With only about 3 months of consistent training and a cookie cutter plan purchased from the internet, I finished in a not too shabby 3hrs:25mins. I had just caught the endurance bug! I then signed up for my first ultra, the 56km Two Bays Trail Run in the Mornington Peninsula, where I finished 4th amongst a competitive women’s field. Since then, I have completed a few more full marathons + 50km’s and five (5) 100km races (plus a bunch of 5km, 10km, half-marathons).
Panel: Vegan Fitness with Athlete (with Kuntal Joisher)