It was 5 AM on a Sunday morning and I hadn’t found a cup of coffee yet. It was far too early for this shit. I looked the stocky dude at the next-door tent up and down.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Well, you know how vegetarians are. You guys probably say you don’t eat meat, and then you go home and eat a whole steak but don’t tell anyone.”
“Well, I don’t know about that, but …”
“Yeah, you just can’t resist bacon, right?” he interrupted.
I smiled politely and walked away in search of coffee.
I shared this story several times on Sunday, January 20, as I congregated with No Meat Athletes at our VIP tent at Rock & Roll Arizona. The response was always the same: an eye-roll and a chuckle of “oh, yeah, I’ve heard that before!”
To outside observers, our tent may have looked like any other team tent. There was a cooler full of water and juice, fruits and breakfast burritos on the table, and a lot of happy people in matching shirts. But for the 47 marathoners, half-marathoners, and mini-marathon finishers in No Meat Athlete shirts, it was something much more.
It was a community.