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