Vegan Runners UK often need volunteers to help out at stalls when the club has arranged a presence at one of the many vegan and vegetarian fayes, usually an appeal for help will be put out to local members and it obviously helps to know who might be available in advance. Helping out a a stall can be good fun and the fayres usually offer a huge range of vegan goodies edible and otherwise, you’ll get a chance to look around. Amongst many benefits stalls serve to recruit new members, raise awareness and give visitors the chance to ask about the club face to face. To assist volunteers with this we have composed a FAQ covering some of the main topics (below). Do contact the Festival Stall Coordinator if you want to help out!
As well as helping out at stalls the club also invites reliable members to volunteer for a variety of administrative roles to spread the workload of running and publicising the club – do contact the General Secretary if you have time and skills to share!
Vegan Runners UK – FAQ for the curious
1. What does the club do?
Members can participate in any running discipline otherwise our runners are mainly interested in road running of all distances and to a lesser degree off-road. We raise awareness by wearing the Vegan Runners kit and aiming to achieve our personal goals on a vegan diet. Ideally we would like to have sufficient members in events for a team position.
2. Is Vegan Runners UK a fundraising group?
Members decide if they wish to raise funds for an organization of their choice otherwise the club gives publicity for the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary run by elite member Fiona Oakes and does raise some funds via our stalls.
3. How does the club’s membership operate?
The club is registered with England Athletics and is run by a committee and volunteers. All funds raised are used to: (i) register the club and its members (ii) maintain a stock of kit and other merchandise (iii) pay for stalls and expenses to run the club. A club membership fee of £6 (single adult) is due annually on a calendar basis and an EA registration fee of £13 is also collected for members entering registered events. Club members can only receive event discounts (for affiliated runners) if they have paid their current EA registration fee. Affiliated runners receive various potential benefits from the sport via England Athletics (UK Athletics), kit discounts from the Sweatshop and other running retailers. Non-registered members can also receive potential discounts from running retailers using their membership card.
4. How many members are there?
In May 2016, there were 793 paid-up members, our highest so far. We also have a large number of supporters from our stalls at festivals who are welcome to participate as non-members.
5. Is there a Vegan Runners club presence in this area or where they live?
Members are spread around the UK including Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland. We look for volunteers to be our acting local contact for a city, area or county otherwise you may see members in popular events. In a few instances we run local groups or we are trying to establish local groups. Areas where we have active groups include London, Brighton, Newcastle, South Leicestershire and many more. To find out more visit the website and check ‘In Your Area’.
6. When or how do members meet for training?
It generally depends on the availability of local members and the numbers in the area. The London group generally meets every week for a track session in Reagent’s Park. The Brighton group meets on the 2nd Sat at the Hove Parkrun and is aiming to arrange other meet-ups. The south Leicestershire group tries to meet midweek for a short run. We also use the weekly open 5km parkruns on Saturdays at 9am as potential meet-ups for a training run / event.
7. Do members have to achieve certain running standards to be accepted?
Members of all abilities are accepted as it helps to raise awareness and encourages more vegan runners to join. Obviously we like to form teams of higher ability to compete otherwise it is useful to have teams of varying ability.
8. How can I find out more about the club or keep in contact?
Visit our website www.veganrunners.org.uk where we have a blog, galleries of photos, a calendar diary, spreadsheet of results, activities in your area, etc. If you are on Facebook, join our group UK Vegan Runners. We have a Twitter account @VeganRunnersUK
9. I am already a member of another club, can I still join Vegan Runners UK?
VRUK encourages vegan runners who are already members of other clubs to join as 2nd claim, paying just the club membership fee of £6. 2nd claim members can add their events to the diary and results to the spreadsheet. 2nd claim members can potentially represent VRUK or wear our kit in some events outside their area where their local club members are not competing.
10. I am not completely vegan yet but would you accept me as a member?
All Vegan Runners UK members are at a minimum a dietary vegan. Veganism is growing massively in the UK and beyond, so why not take the plunge?
11. What do you eat as a vegan runner?
Your vegan runners diet does not need to be radically different from a healthy vegan who does not play much sport. Maintaining a healthy diet is a good starting point, following guidance from the Vegan Society, Viva! or other vegan organisations . Eat regular meals before and after running, including carbohydrate, protein, calcium, essential fats / oils, minerals, vitamins (particularly B12), iron and selenium. Keep to a minimum your processed foods, sugar and salty snacks. Ensure that you are well hydrated.