Announcing the No Meat Athlete Community Message Boards

First off today: THANK YOU to everyone who donated to the Semper Fi fund.

I was truly touched when, within an hour or two of my posting about it here, you had already helped me raise the 300 dollars I had pledged for my Marine Corps Marathon team, in time to meet the next morning’s deadline.

Now, at 850 dollars, we’ve far exceeded that goal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still donate up until the race day (it’s Halloween, and there is no truth to the rumors that I’ll be wearing a carrot costume).  It’s a great fund to help injured Marines, so I encourage you to contribute if that’s a cause that means something to you.

Plant-powered athletes, connect!

My friend Jose, who writes the Blood and the Sweat, sent me this photo from the Urban Cow Half Marathon in California yesterday.  Jose is a vegan and a guy I admire for how much he simply loves running.  With some people you can just tell, even online, how passionate they are about something, and Jose is one of them.

The photo is perfect for today, when I’m excited to announce a new section of the site, the No Meat Athlete Community.  Jose told me that the runners in this photo just happened to see each other wearing NMA shirts—it wasn’t planned.

But with the new community message boards, we won’t have to rely on coincidence to meet other vegetarian and vegan runners.

[Note: The message boards are now gone.  Spammers, you win.]

A way to get in touch with other vegetarian athletes

If you’re running a marathon and don’t know anyone in the city, you hop on the message boards and figure out who you can meet for dinner at a vegetarian place before the race.

In your home city, you could find a training group or organize your own dinner meetup.

And when the husband/wife kicks you out of the house, I mean, is there any more obvious place to turn than the NMA message boards for a friendly couch to crash on?

Besides facilitating face-to-face meetings with other vegetarian and vegan athletes, the Community section is the perfect place to discuss anything at all related to running, fitness, and nutrition, with people whose values and concerns about their diets are like yours.  (Plus, you know they automatically rule because they read NMA.)

So head to the message boards, sign up, and get the conversation going by starting a couple threads.  I’m brand new to this forum-moderation thing, so if anything seems screwed up, just let me know and I’ll get on it.  (And for the record, I completely stole this idea from my pal Steve at Nerd Fitness, where there’s a thriving forum community, for good reason.)

Hey, this sort of sounds like Running on Plants…

This may remind you of Running on Plants, the ill-fated community site I tried to launch a few months back.  Why “ill-fated,” you ask?  Well, it wasn’t for lack of interest.  The problem was that the site was built on a new platform that didn’t have much in the way of anti-spam technology, so spammers flooded the place with dumb ads, and I had no way of keeping them out while letting legitimate people in.  So I eventually was forced to shut it down.  The new Community is built on a much more common, proven forum platform called phpbb, so I suspect spam issues will be minimal and easier to take care of.



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  1. HA HA HA HA!

    Thanks for the great laugh, Matt. After last week’s hell, I really needed something funny to cheer me up.

    The new Community is built on a much more common, proven forum platform called phpbb, so I suspect spam issues will be minimal and easy to take care of.

    I administer a phpbb forum that gets zero spam. But, I also hide everything from the search engines, and only allow registered users who have been approved to post in it. Even to register for an account you need to have an uber-secret URL and querystring or else it only looks like you are registered…nothing actually happens.

    That’s how I was able to handle the spam. 🙂

    Admittedly, that board is only there for a very small and very select group of people (alumni of my college cross country/track teams) that we can send the sign-up link to as people graduate or express an interest in signing up and know who to contact.

    All that said, good luck with the new board. Find yourself a few good moderators and spam won’t be a real issue – the trick is having enough people spread out that the board gets checked every few hours (once the spammers find it) so that spam is removed right away when it shows up. It’ll come in waves, one month will be fine, the next you’ll be constantly trying to find new ways to block them, etc.

    Great idea, though.

  2. Thanks for setting up the message boards for those of us who love your blog and the folks it attracts. You were rather silent about your attempt to become vegan — and September is now over…..vegan? or vegetarian?

    • Hey Ann, I didn’t mean to be silent about it. It was rather uneventful; there just wasn’t much to say about it in a post. Very easy to do at home (I realized my at-home diet was very nearly vegan as it was), harder when eating out (in fact, I ate out much less because of it).

      It wasn’t really an attempt to become vegan, just a trial period to experience it. I don’t think I’ll stay vegan. But I have noticed that I have even less desire to eat cheese at home than I used to, so I could probably be an at-home vegan. But then I wonder, if I so rarely eat cheese anyway and will still allow it out, why make a rule that I can’t have it at home on those rare occasions when I want to? So I’m not quite sure what to do. I think I will write a post about it in the next week or so just to report on how it went. Thanks for asking!

  3. Hey! That’s me! I’m the girl on the right. Funny, I made the decision to go vegetarian almost 3 months ago, and this was the first time I was “announcing” it. It was SO cool that Jose spotted us and wanted to take a picture. Thanks so much for this blog, Matt, it truly is inspiring.

  4. Awesome, I ran the Urban Cow and wish I saw them! Also wish I had a cool shirt too. 😛

    So true on vegan being much easier at home, a surprising number of restaurants have vegetarian dishes, but not vegan yet.

    Thanks for setting up the messages boards!

  5. Matt/Ann – yes I was wondering about how the vegan month went! Please post a full roundup. You know with all thus hullabaloo about the MC/#fitblog stuff, it’s interesting for me to see how just keeping track of food can be viewed as a bad thing. Yowza. Thanks for the linkage and photo! Also – I emailed you a photo of yet ANOTHER NMA t shirt wearer, a nice guy named Jeff that I met post race.

    Alicia! If you have a blog or a twitter let me know and I’ll link to ya on TB&TS, I put a link to Marisa’s yesterday. Congrats on getting that awesome cowbell 🙂

    Christine – congrats on finishing! I’m posting a review of Loving Hut and will try and do more food reviews for local readers in Nor Cal. I might have given you strawberries yesterday, I put on a volunteer shirt afterward 🙂


  6. Matt,

    Do you have an update as to when the message boards will be up and running? I ran into a fellow NMA fan while running the New Years Run, in Los Angels CA. It was super cool to see a fellow NMA on the course.


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