On 18 September, hordes of Vegan Runners will descend on the BIG Stockport 10K from all corners of the UK.
Vegan Runners UK is a nationwide network of plant-based runners, and the fastest growing athletics club in the UK – adding 100 new members every month in 2016. Vegan Runners of all abilities can be seen at events all over the country sporting the distinctive black and green vests and spreading the message of a healthy, active and cruelty-free lifestyle.
There are now 30 local VRUK groups all over the county, which meet up to run and socialise, and the club are keen to support friendly, affordable events like the BIG Stockport 10K. Jonna McFadden is a local contact for the Manchester area, which meets for training runs, Parkruns (free 5K runs on Saturday mornings see www.parkrun.org.uk) and races. ‘We set up an event for the BIG Stockport 10K on our Facebook group (VR.MCR.meetup) and within a few days we had more than 30 local runners registered. We now have teams from Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield as part of a 60-strong VRUK contingent. No doubt the post-race brunch from acclaimed plant-based chef Matthew Nutter at Stockport’s Allotment vegan restaurant, and the Vegan Beer Festival in Salford have helped to attract a few more members to take part in the event.’
Local vegan runner Chris Dempsey gave his view on the explosion of vegan running ‘It comes as no surprise to VRUK that our membership has surged; the number of vegans in the UK has more than trebled in the last decade (to over well over 500,000) and people of all ages and abilities are taking up running.’
‘The Vegan movement is the most vibrant and diverse community around, and the Manchester area is at the forefront, with all the cool and quirky restaurants offering vegan options. Vegans have an instant bond due to our shared beliefs regarding the unnecessary suffering of animals but it isn’t just ethical reasons that attract runners to the vegan lifestyle. Almost all experts now recognise the health and performance benefits of a plant-based diet, particularly for endurance athletes, and VRUK has more than its fair share of ultra-runners.’
‘A lot of people still consider a vegan lifestyle to be alternative or extreme but as information spreads through social media, we are quickly moving into the mainstream. Freethinkers are choosing not to support the cruelty and environmental devastation that animal agriculture causes and most people now realise that a plant-based diet promotes wellbeing and increases life expectancy.’
If you are interested in becoming a Vegan Runner, visit: www.veganrunners.org.uk or the Facebook group “UK Vegan Runners”.
Find out more about the BIG Stockport 10K at: https://www.sportsentrysolutions.com/new_race_page.php?recordID=893.
For details of the Allotment vegan restaurant which is due to open on 18th August visit: https://www.facebook.com/theallotmentveganrestaurant/
If you would like to visit the Manchester Vegan Beer Fest details are available at: http://veganbeerfest.co.uk/manchester/