With Valentine’s Day 2010 just a few days away, what better time to write about love and running.
After all, the story of meeting the love of my life centers around running. It was the spring of 2000 that Malinda wandered over to the join my group for a Thursday night track workout. She was in training for the New York City Marathon and Tyler Abbott suggested she do speed work with my group. She was only a semi-regular attendee for the rest of the year but sometime around the Christmas Classic and the DSE Christmas Blind Date Relays race, I started seeing her more and we began to talk. Next thing I know, I am driving out to run on the Dipsea trail, running the DSE Hangover Run, and going to Stockton for the Cal-10 ten mile race, all so I can spend more time with her. You could say our romance is one that started with running. Since we incorporated a running event (the Tying the Knot 7K run and 1400 meter walk, on 7/14/07) as part of our wedding celebration, we even got a mention in a Runner’s World article entitled, “Love and Running.”
We aren’t the only romance that blossomed thanks to Thursday night track. Nathan Wong and Leah Evans began attending track workouts in 2004 (Nathan in June, Leah in December). Nathan wanted to get faster and meet other runners. Leah, after some reluctance was finally convinced by Tomas to try the track workouts. By January 2006, Nathan the musician, and Leah the teacher, soon became Nathan and Leah, the couple. Three years later they got engaged (on a run, the Thursday before the 2009 Boston Marathon). They now live in Boston and are attending law (Nathan) and medical (Leah) school.
A former SHCP assistant coach, Mary Fagan, and her husband Mark Churchill had an even crazier wedding race than I did. The two hardcore runners actually met at a snowshoe race. Their four mile race (called “Mark and Mary’s Race to Tie the Knot”) took place the morning before their actual wedding and it was a competition. Every runner was either on Mary’s team (yellow shirts) or Mark’s team (blue shirts). Team scoring was a rather complicated system based on finish place in your age group, with bonus points for participating and travel distance to the wedding race. At stake? Last names. If Mark’s team won, Mary would change her name to Mary Churchill. If Mary’s team won, Mark would change his name to Mark Fagan. Later that same day, after the successful race, the minister closed the wedding ceremony by announcing that Team Churchill had defeated Team Fagan by ten points as he presented the newly married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Mary Churchill.
Love and running certainly go together. You can run with your significant other. You can meet your significant other at a running-related event, and you can celebrate your romance with more running!
I wonder who will be the next running romance?