No Meat Athlete at Badwater Ultramarathon!

Meredith Murphy, No Meat Athlete sponsored runner in Badwater 2011

135 miles.

Through Death Valley.

In July, when the temperatures reach well over 120 degrees.

The road gets so hot that runners, who appear almost other-worldly in white suits to protect themselves from the sun, often have to run on the white painted line, just to avoid melting their shoes.

It’s enough to make even a hardcore runner ask, Why?  But to the 90 or so runners who get in to the Badwater Ultramarathon each year — making it through a competitive application process — the “why” is precisely those factors which have earned Badwater the title of “world’s toughest footrace.”

No Meat Athlete sponsored runner, Meredith Murphy

About an hour ago, Meredith Murphy, a vegetarian from Pennsylvania who runs a holistic health center, lined up at the start and began Badwater 2011.  Meredith has run several 100-milers before, but this is her first attempt at Badwater.

After seeing a message about NMA shirts on Facebook, Meredith mentioned to me that she’d like to represent No Meat Athlete at the race, and I happily obliged.  So I’m proud to announce that Meredith’s crew and van will be decked out in No Meat Athlete gear, and Meredith herself will likely wear the running carrot shirt as one of several changes of clothes (I couldn’t convince her that a full-body carrot costume would actually keep her cool, by blocking the sun’s rays).

Meredith won’t be the first vegetarian to run Badwater — ultrarunning superstar Scott Jurek famously won the legendary race twice as a vegan, holding the course record for a few years with his finish time of just over 24 hours.  But I’m thrilled that the No Meat Athlete logo will provide a highly-visible reminder, to those that see it, that you can do some pretty awesome stuff on a plant-based diet.

You can track Meredith’s progress as well as that of the other runners by following the live webcast.  Runners have 48 hours to complete the race, so keep checking back through Wednesday morning to see how Meredith is doing.  (Her time at each checkpoint will ultimately be posted here, but I’m not sure how frequently these individual reports will be updated.)

Once the race is over and Meredith is recovered, you know I’ll be bugging her to write a race recap for us.  At the very least, expect some photos to be posted soon.

And as a P.S., keep an eye on another runner, David Ploskonka.  He’s a friend of mine from high school and an incredible runner who did amazingly well at Badwater last year, finishing 17th in his first time running the race.

Oh, and last thing!  A brand new order of No Meat Athlete shirts came in last week (just in the nick of time, actually, for me to drive two hours to get them in the hands of the last of Meredith’s crew members to fly out to the race).  So you if you’ve been waiting to get one while they’ve been out of stock over the past month, now’s your chance!




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  1. Best of luck to Meredith at Badwater. Cool that NMA is sponsoring her. I crewed and paced that race a few years go…what an experience! Hope she does well…and goes up to the top of Mt Whitney the next day (it’s not officially part of the race course…but well worth the effort).


  2. Whoohoo! Good luck to a fellow Pennsylvanian! PA can have some sweltering temps and humidity in the summer, but I can’t ever remember it getting anywhere near 120 degrees!!

  3. I’ve heard about this race- crazy! Good luck Meredith!! I am now feeling guilty for complaining about my run in the 90’s this morning!

  4. Good Luck Meredith! You are a brave soul. I have no excuse to not run anymore. You are my new inspiration. Can’t wait to see the results! Rock it!

  5. Good luck! How inspiring…100 miles in the desert..and I complain about running on the treadmill in the gym!

  6. Good luck, Meredith! Badwater. That’s pretty BA.

  7. Lorraine Skupsky says:

    Loving your web site. Am mother, who has successfully encouraged both daughters, they are almost 21, to complete their first halfs— I have done many halfs a three Marathons, and still run at 61— One of daughters in vegetarian,,healthy, etc etc…is thinking about doing a Marathon — HOORAY>>> I want to buy your marathon e-book…..can’t I get it as a hard cover, soft cover,,,,or anything I can hold onto,,,not just a e-book…. thanx,,,,Lorraine Skupsky

  8. Jon Weisblatt says:

    Good luck in the race Meredith. Sounds like fun??

  9. Joe Kanaszka says:

    What ever happened to Meredith? How did she do?

    • Meredith came in 79th this year with a time of 46:22:38 for the 135 miles. Congrats Meredith on the finish, what a grueling course.

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