We Got Married in a Marathon!!!

Yes, we actually got married DURING a marathon. Not right after, not before, but DURING. We ran 26 miles, paused for the ceremony, then ran the last .2 as husband and wife. We started the marathon engaged and ended it married. Crazy.

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Still can’t believe we pulled it off. Right up until the day of the race, we weren’t exactly sure how it would go down. Don’t get us wrong, we planned and stuff, but trying to coordinate a wedding in the middle of a marathon left some balls in the air. But juggled them we did…and of course, we got by with a little help from our friends.

If you don’t know what we’re talking about, you can check out this post. And if you want to see the actual video we made of the race and wedding, check it out here.

Did you watch the video? Good, now we can move on.

The weekend was such a whirlwind, but we’ll try to capture it in this post. Here’s what had happened. We flew into Phoenix a few days before the race. We were staying with our maid of honor – Helly on the Run – and her hubby, the best man, Ben. After lunch at our fave restaurant, Oreganos, we did something ill-advised before a marathon….road trip. But we knew this race was just for fun for us, so we did it anyway. Scott’s dadio hadn’t been to Tombstone, AZ, so we drove the 3+ hours there. Saw the sights, then drove back. It was worth it. So much history and fun.

Celebrated National Margarita Day in Tombstone with moms and dads!

The next day we did a 2+ mile shakeout run with Helly. While we were going into this race just as a training run for Marsha’s upcoming Boston Marathon debut, Helly was going into this race for her own BQ. She was focused and ready. S&M were having fun…as we ought to do.

We had brunch with some Dallas friends before meeting up with more friends, including Carlos The Runner at the Expo. It was an outdoor expo, don’t get to attend too many of those, kinda dig it. We got our race stuff, got some race souvenirs, and took some selfies.

Oh, we also spoke with the race director to make sure everything was coolio. We scouted out the wedding location and gave her the info. She wanted to relay it to the PoPo. She was afraid that a crowd gathering might raise their eyebrows, and she didn’t want them to swarm us or anything. As Helly’s Canadian friend said when we told her, “Oh yeah, you guys have to worry about that kind of stuff in the States.”

After the expo, we ate Oreganos again. In fact, we took it back to Helly and Ben’s house because they were kind enough to invite several people visiting for the wedding/race over for a mini party. Again, ill-advised the night before a marathon, but we were having fun seeing everyone. In fact, we got to meet a few internet friends in person for the first time, including A Fast Paced Life.  She had flown in from New York City for the festivities and to run the half marathon. Also in attendance were M’s friends who drove in from Cali, as well as S’s cousin who would be officiating the ceremony, among others.

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Awesome tanks from RedshirtRunning.com!

We tried to get to bed early, doe because we had an early wake up call – something like 2 am. The race would start at 6:00, but we had to drive to the finish area, then take a long bus ride to the starting line 26.2 miles away. It’s kind of cool being up on the desert mountain in the middle of the night morning. Just 3000 runners, a bunch of cactuses, and 80 port-a-potties…Oh yeah, that was about the only hiccup of the day. We were in line to pee so long, we missed the start of the race. We eventually got going about 10 minutes after the gun.

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Staying warm before the race!

It was perfect temps, just like last year. 37 degrees at the start. Little wind. No humidity to speak of at all. We started down the mountain, gradually shedding our throw-away clothes as we warmed up (they said the discards would be donated to charity – we hope she has a big closet). Speaking of which, our race singlets were just so much us. We found them at Red Shirt Running, and they were perfect! Our friend Christie also made a veil for M to wear. Sew kewt!

The start was almost pitch dark, but the sun eventually rose around mile 3. The course is good – a few miles downhill, two uphill, a few down, then it’s flat flat flat for most of the way home. It’s so flat, and since you go through several stretches without making any turns, we could actually see the mile markers when they were a half mile away abouts.

Along the run we got several comments from the other runners. Many said they had heard of us. Many said they knew of us because we’re friends of the internet famous Helly. Many asked us about our outfits. We received a buttload of, “Awwwwwwws.” We got a few handshakes. One funny dude said we should’ve had the bride’s father walk her down the aisle…hahaha, that’d be a 26 mile journey. There were a ton of, “Congratulations!” from both runners and spectators. We gotta tell you, the running community is grrrrrrreat!

Like we said, we were treating this as a fun run and a training run. With S’s stress fracture and M’s hammy issues over the past year, we really only had one month to try and train for this marathon. Ill-advised, we know. That said, we did aight running-wised, despite our out of shapeness. We did our best to smile through it…and the miles did seem to tick off fairly quickly.

When we approached mile 26, there was a turn right before it, so we couldn’t see if our guests had gathered or where. Even though we had picked the general location the day before, we didn’t know exactly where they’d be able to set up. And we knew parking could be a challenge for the guests. We were also wondering if our friends going for BQ’s and PR’s had gotten them. We hoped they’d be done with their races in time to join us. But we just didn’t know what we’d find when we turned that corner. But then we heard someone yelling our names. At last we saw them. To our pleasant surprise, they had all made it and set up right in the middle of the street! Everyone going for BQ’s and PR’s had gotten them. The out of town guests made it too. It was perfect!

Since S carried a GoPro to record our race running, M carried a phone so we could Facebook live the wedding when we got to that point. We started the broadcast, we got situated, S’s parents gave us the flowers and also had balloons, cuz Nikki’s kids were the ring bears and her hubby the FB live cameraman, S’s mom took photos, Ben and Helly took their spots, other friends started their FB live streams, the race runners kept going past us, strangers took photos, a race photographer snuck in and took pics, cuz Nikki officiated the ceremony.

Cuz Nikki had gotten ordained to do this. She wrote the script. She did an amazing job. Just simply amazing. What she said was perfect. She made sure to include our kids who couldn’t make it from Texas. Again, she did awesome.

After the vows, a stranger yelled, “Hurry up and finish, the clock is ticking.” Hahaha, he was right, we had to get er done. We ran to the finish line hand in hand. The race announcer called our names and told everyone how we got married during the race. The cheers were loud. It was perfect. A photographer took our picture and told us he’d seen countless proposals at races, but never an actual wedding. We got some more high fives and, “Congratulations”. We were happy.

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Oh, you want to know our time? We didn’t even check the official results. It was somewhere around 4:19 or 4:20 we think. Not bad for the lack of training, lack of proper race preparation, and not bad for pausing the running to hold a freakin wedding ceremony!!!!! Woohoo! We’re married!

After the race, the parking attendant (Kevin) near the Bermz car asked why we were wearing our wedding outfits. We explained. He said, “Whoa! Wait right there, I have a special treat for you!” He ran to his car and assembled his saxamaphone. Then he played “Here Comes The Bride” for us right there in the parking lot. It’s just too much to handle.

After a quick shower, we were off to the “reception”. Any guesses where? Yup, Oreganos. We don’t know what they put in their food to make it taste so dang yummy. The private room was waiting for a small group of our friends and family. It was so relaxed and happy and fun. Our waitress was quite the photographer as well, directing us as to what to do and stuff.

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That night was low key…well, except for when Carlos came over. Action and adventure always seem to follow that guy around, lolol.

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The next day was brunch again…Thanks Elle!!! Then more food. And just like the rest of the weekend, being Godparents, we spent lots of time playing with the kiddos!

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Monday was the last day of our adventure. It included food, of course. What else, what else? Oh yeah, S&M&Helly got Phoenix tattoos!!!!!! We wanted to commemorate the race where in the past two years we have all either PR’d, BQ’d or gotten married!

And so ends part uno of our wedding adventure. Coming up next – Part Deux, the Dallas Celebration! That will be another epic post. Hope to have it for you in the coming days.

How bout you? Do you turn race trips into epic racecations? Have any race tattoos? Will you join us if we run Phoenix next year for our one year anniversary????

Our Marathon Wedding Video!

Hello all! We’re still collecting our thoughts and prayers pictures from this past weekend’s Phoenix Marathon. We’ll be posting our experience here in the coming days, but in the meantime, we have a video for you.

We carried a GoPro through the entire race and shot clips of us as we passed each mile marker. Once we got to the wedding site (mile 26), we had several friends Facebook-Live the event. Well, we have combined the videos into one epic one.

Oh, and at the end of the video there’s a bonus…As we were walking back to the car, parking attendant Kevin surprised us with a serenade of sorts. Once he found out we had just gotten hitched, he ran to his car and put together is saxamaphone. It was so sweet.

For everyone who wasn’t at the wedding, we hope this provides the experience for ya. We tried to keep it is as short as possible to prevent any viewers’ from Blair Witchiness enforced puking.

Hope you enjoyed that! Like we had said, we’ll post our review post asap.

Please tell us what you think in the comments!

Love

Hooked on Phoenix

So, in a matter of days we’ll be running the Phoenix Marathon. But not just that, we’ll also be getting married during the race. But yes also, we ran this race last year. So for those of you who may be running, or thinking of running this race, we’re here to give you the highdown.

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First off, people like to say this is a downhill race. It is…But it’s no Revel. We’re sorry, but we gotta say that we are not fans of the Revel races. Running thousands of feet downhill just seems like cheating. Well, doesn’t seem, it probably is. Thousands of feet net decline?!?! We mean, come on. That said, Phoenix is downhill, but that’s deceiving. It’s a net 800 feet or so down from start to finish (not 5000 feet like a Revel). But also…there is a good 2 mile incline in the full. It goes a little something like this: You run downhill a few miles, you run uphill a couple miles, you run downhill a few more miles, then it’s flat, flat, flat, flat the rest of the way.  That’s the nature of the beast. It’s still a runner friendly course: It’s a bit downhill net, it’s point to point, and the course is mostly straight roads (not many turns), around 20% of runners BQ, and race pics are freeeeeeee!

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Phoenix Marathon elevation chart
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Revel Series- Big Cottonwood elevation chart.

OK, we thinks we’ve gone off on a tangent…let’s regroup.

This is a great race…We love it! This is where Marsha BQ’d!!! This is where we’re getting hitched! This is where our besties live. This is the Valley of the Sun.

And no, this is not the Rock n Roll Phoenix race. That’s the first thing everyone always axes.  This is the Phoenix Marathon. Phoenix like the bird who comes back to life from fire. Which is admittedly weird because this race doesn’t even take place in Phoenix, technically it’s in Mesa.

Here’s how it goes: You get up at the butt crack of night to drive to the race finish area. They bus you up to the top of a mountain. It’s freezing cold. They have fires going to keep you warm. It’s pitch perfect dark. They warn you not to wander off the road lest you may encounter a chupacabra or the like. There are no corals. It’s very chill. The race starts early. Early. The sun is not yet up. But once you start running, the sun slowly rises. There is no more glorious sight than the first break of dawn crawling over the cactus covered mountainous desert.

As we said, you go downhill a couple miles. But then you hit the uphill. It’s a good two miles. It sucks. But once you conquer the zenith, you the get reward of going back gravity towards. This part goes through a little mountain side neighborhood. There’s not much crowd support in this race, but this is one of the biggest athletic supporter areas.

Once you get off the mountain, you’re ground level. You are running flat the rest of the way. One thing we love is that the roads are so flipping straight. You don’t have to worry about breaking stride to make turns. You just keep on cruisin.

B to the W, the weather is great. Being the desert, there ain’t much humidity to speak of. Ain’t much wind neither. Last year it was 37 degrees American at the start…Around 50 degrees American at the finish. Perfecto. We went with Helly to Wallfart the day before the race to buy $2 sweat clothes to wear at the start (We threw them off a couple miles in). Again, perfecto.

But alas, here in lies the rub. Lettuce give you our experience, race-wise. Marsha really wanted to BQ. She needed a 3:45, which meant we wanted a 3:40 to be safe. That’s roughly an 8:25 pace per mile. Scott was the pacesetter. Helly said before the race that she wanted to run with us as long as she could. She had just PR’d at NY a few months earlier at just under 4 hours. But she’s a strong runner, getting stronger by the day. So off we went. Scott spent the entire race saying, “Moooooon (his nickname for Marsha).” Meaning, “Marsha, slow it down.” Moon. Mooon. Mooooon. Moooooon. Moooooon. Mooooooooon. The theme of the race. Keeping Marsha in check so she didn’t burn out early. Helly termed this, “In Scott we trust.”

A couple miles in, another nameless friend said, “I can’t keep running this slow.” He took off (we would see him again later, walking around mile 20). But we were focused on the pace goal. It worked. We were cruising. It felt like a jog. The best marathon we had ever run. Around mile 18, Helly put her earphones in. We knew that meant she was starting to ride the struggle bus. She trailed off a bit. We kept on keeping on. At mile 20 Scott said that since we felt good, we could start to push it. We did. These were our fastest miles of the race. Not to brag, but that is so smart…keeping it in the tank so we had something in the tank for the end of the race. “Banking” time is dumb, fo real doe. It’s way much better to finish strong.

But then something bad happened. At mile 23, Scott had to stop. His foot said, “No more, hombre.” But he didn’t want Marsha to miss out on her BQ, so he told her to go on and finish strong. She did. Scott had to limp in the last 3 miles. It sucked. It hurt. It was like a lime had been put in the bottom of his shoe. Turns out his foot was broken, but we didn’t know that until later. Yeah, a stress fracture had fractured his foot. But he still finished in a PR of 3:43, despite having to hobble in.

Marsha, meanwhile was focused. She was focused on finishing strong. She was focused on all the negative things people had said or done to us the past few years when we found each other and ourselves. She used that to embody determination. She turned it positive. She used it for fuel. She used that to BQ. She finished in 3:40.

At the finished line she waited as Scott hobbled in. We were pleased. Then something else amazing happened, we turned around and saw Helly hight tailing it. She had pushed through to finish a little behind Scott with a 15 minute PR! Then we saw her hubby, he had also PR’d (he’s much faster than all of us, so we won’t talk about times ;)). Then we saw our friend J, who had PR’d the half and breaking 2 hours. Even our nameless friend who burn out early had rallied and ran some 20 minutes faster than the marathon he had just run in Houston. It was all good.

The post race party was aight. No free beer like at most races now-a-days, but no worries, we had tequila in the car. And we were happy.

Can’t wait for the Phoenix Marathon! Can’t wait to see everyone! Can’t wait to get married! Can’t wait see how it all goes!

Have you ever run this race? What makes a race special for you?

Cupids Couple 5k

We’re not running this race this year, but we ran this race last year. So we’re here to give you the lowdown.

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Where it be: In old McKinney at the Tupps Brewery.

How it works: You and your partner run a 5k. They combine your ages and finish times. They determine winners based on those combined times/ages.

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What’s the course: Basically an out and back with several turns along the way.

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We always matchy matchy.

What we think: We had a few problems with this race. First and foremost, the course was almost a quarter mile long. And don’t tell us that it was our Garmins. It wasn’t. It was long, and that sucks. We knew it was long when we hit the halfway point and still had a ways to go before the turn-around. Just look at the stats in the first picture of this post. That said, it was the same for everyone. But hopefully they got it fixed for this year.

The next problem – No free beer after the race. We mean, come on! It’s held at a brewery for crying out loud. Not even one free beer? If you want a beer, you have to pay for it. And personal opinion: we don’t really like Tupps beers. They are all so hoppy. Not our style. That said, the brewery itself is pretty dang cool. Nice location to chill out at.

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How’d we do: We finished 2nd overall!!! We weren’t too far behind first place, but unfortunately that team had the overall race winner – somewhere around 16 minutes, so that’s how they won. But hey, we got another trophy!

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Getting our trophy.

Oh yeah, one last issue – Each team had to come up with a team name. Ours was “Team S&M, Bringin’ The Pain!” Clever, right? Well when they announced we had come in 2nd, they wouldn’t announce our team name. They thought it was too NSFW. Sheesh, that’s living in the Bible Belt for ya, lol. It was innocent – S&M stands for Scott and Marsha. And 5k’s are painful, so that’s where we got the name <wink wink>.

Oh yeah again, one last issue – We asked our friend Alex to take our photo. He did this:

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Yup, he selfied.

Actually, we don’t have an issue with this – we do it to people all the time. Even strangers who ask us to take their picture. Haha, such characters we be.

What’s the conclusion: It’s an OK race, hopefully they got the distance worked out. We hope everyone has fun running it!

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Team S&M Brought The Pain

How bout you? Ever run a couples race before?