Two weeks ago, I realized that I hadn’t followed up on ensuring that I would be able to eat at the Carbo-loading supper for the Half Iron(wo)man I was doing on the July long-weekend. So I emailed the race director and he gave me the number for the caterers. I called them and left a message saying that I was vegan and needed to be accommodated (I think I also mentioned something about the supper being worth $25, which is what my partner was paying). The race director then called me to tell me that they would accommodate me, but it seemed begrudging. It didn’t seem like he REALLY wanted to accommodate me and told me that I was the only person that had requested such a meal. I told him that I knew of at least one other vegan that was coming and that just because no one had talked to him about it, didn’t mean that vegans weren’t coming but that they weren’t eating the food! I suggested that he make an option on the online sign-up for a veg*n meal or meat. He didn’t seem very receptive to this, but I think that I will follow-up on this because I have seen it done at other races and can’t see why it would be a problem.
At one of the suppers, the chef (I got to meet him personally and he called me “the vegan”) told me that they don’t advertise the veg*n option. I still don’t know why they don’t. He prepared a stuffed pepper, which was pretty good. I know that I could have done it better, but it was pretty good. Better than nothing! They only prepared 6 veg*n meals for over 700 participants! I don’t know the stats on veg*n triathletes, but it seemed pretty disproportional considering that triathletes are generally health-conscious people.
At the end of the Half IM, I said to the race director after he gave me my finishers medal that vegans can finish too. He laughed, gave me a big hug, and said, “Of course they can!” It was a nice ending to the saga of the food at the Great White North Triathlon.