Report by Sophie Ashdown Coady with photos appended:
Many of our runners spent hours in the cold and dark of winter training for marathon events this Spring and Summer. We expect to have members running UK marathons in Brighton, London, Llaneli (Wales), Edinburgh, Milton Keynes and Belfast. Internationally we have runners competing at marathons in Rotterdam, Dresden, Barcelona, Rome, and even Jerusalem! VRUK members will be proudly wearing their distinctive green and black Vegan Runners kit, so give them a cheer if you see them.
Not all of our runners are at marathon level. We welcome members of any ability, age, or location. Nine of our members competed in the Brighton Half Marathon recently and one of our new members is none other than the CEO of the Vegan Society, Jasmijn de Boo. Jasmijn has entered the Karrimor Great Trail Challenge Half Marathon for June and is encouraging a meet-up at the event.
Fiona Oakes was featured by Runners World magazine in their March 2012 issue. The article describes some of Fiona’s fantastic running achievements such as completing more than 20 marathons and placing in the top 20 overall for both London and Berlin marathons.
Fiona was recently the first vegan woman to complete in the 154-mile Marathon des Sables across the Sahara Desert. The article also highlights the amazing work she puts in at her Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary (www.towerhillstables.com) in Essex.
Further publicity for the club came at the Bath Half Marathon in March where our runners were interviewed by BBC Radio Bristol. They received a lot of support along the route and were spotted by the BBC, thanks largely to their matching “Vegan Runners” tops.
Several of our members competed in Cross Country Championships at different locations around the UK. Peter Simpson, John Bateson, Chris Simms, John Fulham and Sam Wilson all braved the cold conditions to put in solid performances.
VRUK often holds a stall at vegan and vegan-related events, which provide an opportunity to meet some of the members in that region, raise awareness of our activities with visitors, recruit new members & contacts, and sell some kit. We will have a stall at the Bristol Vegfest on 26/27 May so please stop by and say hello. If you know of any vegan or related events that you think would be appropriate for VRUK to be at, please let us know through the website.
We have regular sessions around the country for our members to meet up and go for a training run. Members, supporters, or indeed anyone who would like to try out our sessions are more than welcome. We have regular monthly meet ups and training runs in London at Regent’s Park and in Birmingham at Cannon Hill Park. The South Wales group meets up at open events including the Cardiff Parkrun on Saturdays. The Brighton group meets at open events and the Hove Park 5K Parkrun on some Saturdays. We are also establishing local Vegan Runners groups in Bristol, Bath, and Leicester. Check the VRUK diary on the website to join us at your nearest session!
VRUK is as much about socializing as it is about running. We welcome members of any age or ability.
For more information about the club please visit www.veganrunners.org.uk.
|Sam Wilson at Stanmer Park, SEAA XC|
|Left: Dave Arnold, Paul Loader, Martin Stacy at the Brighton Half Marathon|
|Brighton VegfestUK: Paul, Jonathan, Anna, Peter, Sam and Dave|