Last updated: 14-Feb-19
By Dan Stinton
You haven’t told him/her yet have you? You have transport arranged and the hotel booked, but you’ve had to secretly pack your running gear because you haven’t yet told the “other half” that you’ve booked a race on your romantic Valentines break. They look at you with love in their eyes, but little do they know you have a race number and printed registration details hidden away in your suitcase. How are you going to tell them?
Clearly that’s a fabricated story, because no one would ever do that? Would they?
We’re a romantic bunch here at RunUltra (this may or may not be true) so at this time of year we thought we’d ask our readers for stories of how they met their partners through running/ultrarunning – as clearly on a 50-miler there’s plenty of time to get to know someone. Stories came flying in so we’ve selected a few to print here. Thanks to everyone who responded. Enjoy!
Let’s get the ball rolling with a light-hearted “romantic” story from Mark Atkinson during the Grand Union Canal Race. “I met a tramp at the end of @GUCR145 who offered me a beer. I fell in love with him briefly but then he chased me to get it back. He was surprisingly quick.”
Michelle Edye from Sutton found some post-run refreshment came in handy when meeting her partner, Kevin. “Clapham Chasers are essentially a drinking running club so I met Kevin in the pub post training session though he hadn’t bothered with the run and just came for the beer. We met again in a beer garden a few weeks later and after a few pints I decided it would be a great idea to follow him to a little piano bar in town. Getting home at 3am Tuesday morning meant that work the next day was a bit of a struggle but it was the best first date I’d ever been on and it’s still one of our favourite places to go.”
Endurance runner, Susie Chan, who also contributes to these very pages, met her husband Shaun through running. “First date was a run, proposed at the end of Marathon de Sables, and spent the honeymoon running”.
Trail Tales tells us the story of her surprise proposal. “We met at the running club and were a bit competitive. I always wanted to beat him and mostly did. A bit of flirting a few dates later we were well loved up.
Ryan basically goaded me into my first marathon. I always said I’d never do longer distances, but if he could do it… then obviously so could I! We spent all our time travelling, running, racing, eating and drinking. Not much has changed in that sense. One day, after a bit too much wine we signed up for our first 100km together. It was the St Cuthberts Way Ultra run by Trail Outlaws. I had no idea about his plan though!
We ran together the whole race but I’d had enough and wanted to pull out halfway but he wouldn’t let me. I became mildly irritated at mile 60 when he stopped and started faffing in his pack when we were so near the finish, but the next minute he was down on one knee proposing and there was a photographer – I was so emotional and excited. He presented me with the most gorgeous ring in a stunning place… it was dark so we were looking over the lights twinkling down in Melrose! Definitely a moment I’ll never forget, it was perfect and I couldn’t have asked for a more special proposal! As a bonus I won the race too. I got a huge trophy and an engagement ring all in one night!”
Photo credit: Hippie Nixon
Now, if I’d have tried that I’d have definitely lost the ring somewhere on the route whilst rummaging for a flapjack.
Hill reps eh? Most alluring activity ever? Well it worked for Lucy Wasinski. “It was the first hill training session that we both did after joining the running club! I think it was my luminous hi-vis vest that did it when he saw me across the road”. But what did she think of Gregg? “I just liked his running top.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Yvonne Turner took wedding planning to a whole new level. She met her husband, Rob, at the local running club, or more accurately in the pub afterwards for post-run refreshments. Things soon developed and, as you may expect, their relationship involved running, and lots of it. After Rob proposed they didn’t really want a traditional wedding so came up with the idea of holding the wedding reception at the Conti Thunder Run. After agreeing with the organisers, the date was set for 22nd July 2017. We pick up their story from the day.
“We got married at 10am at Lichfield registry office in glorious sunshine, Rob in a suit, t shirt with a tuxedo printed on it and running trainers and I was wearing a white tennis dress and gold converse trainers. A few pics in the gardens outside then we hot footed it to the start line of the race at 12pm.
We decided to run as 2 solo runners so we could run together rather than a pair. Our guests were entered into teams too. Three teams of five.
The race organisers were amazing and we had our own gazebo, camping area and portaloo! The luxury! Other runners on the course cheered us on and thought we were crackers! You could hear whispers all around the camp about the wedding.
Photo Credit: Yvonne Turner
After every lap we checked in to the wedding party, the beer was flowing and the BBQ was churning out burgers. We had cake and fizz too. The sunshine didn’t last and after a few hours the rain started and didn’t stop until 5am the following morning. The course was a quagmire. But it didn’t dampen our spirits.
Everyone agreed it was the best wedding they’d ever been to, or maybe they meant the strangest! We certainly thought it was the best day ever.”
Ahhhhh… you’re a romantic bunch, aren’t you?
I’m going to end with story that puts things into perspective. One of our responses on Twitter put us in touch with John Hunsley – He’s taking on the Marathon des Sables this year in memory of his wife, Janice who worked for 40 years for the Blue Cross animal hospital in Grimsby. She always supported his running and he wanted to do something special in her memory. Running helped John cope with his loss so he thought it would be a good idea to put his miles to good use. Check out his blog where you can read more and support him here.