These two fitness devotees were in love but unhitched when they started the race—then became husband and wife by the finish line. Here, the groom tells their sweet story.
In fall 2012, my future wife, Krissa, and I met because we were looking for a good time—and more importantly, a good sweat. I had just signed up as a referee for a recreation volleyball league. She was a player on one of the teams, and we ended up chatting it up when I had to fix the net during the game.
Sparks didn’t fly between us immediately, in part because I was already in a relationship. Also, I had a busy social life as a member of other fitness meetups, including a running club in New York City, where we both lived. But in the next year, that would all change.
RELATED: 15 Running Tips You Need to Know
Krissa and I soon ran into each other again—during a freezing half-marathon in Manhattan the following March. She realized that I was in her start corral but couldn't quite place me out of context, she told me later. Shortly thereafter, we saw each other a third time when the volleyball league started up again.
This time we both recognized each other and struck up a conversation, which ended in my inviting her to join my running club. The club met every Tuesday for an evening of running and post-run drinks. It was just a friendly invite, which she took me up on.
At some point that year, we found ourselves drinking after a long run with our group. I like to say Krissa had a little liquid courage in her that night, because after I walked her to the subway station, she told me, “I think you and I would be amazing together.”
I thanked her for the honesty but told her I was still in a committed relationship. Nevertheless, our friendship grew as we continued to spend more time together each week as pals, spiking balls in the volleyball league, and racking up miles through our running group meet-ups.
By February 2014, my relationship ended. Krissa and I had already become really close friends, but I was a little afraid of starting something with her right away. One day in the summer, the timing was more serendipitous, and it just clicked. She soon moved into my Brooklyn apartment and we started running together as a couple. Two months later on a vacation in Cancun, I proposed.
It was during a random jog in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park near our apartment when Krissa came up with the idea of getting married during the Brooklyn Half-Marathon on May 20, 2017. (The half passed through the park.) I was sold on the idea. We’re not church-y people, and this was definitely a more meaningful way to do it. The running club that puts the race together got wind of our plans, and they offered to design special “bride” and “groom” bibs for us to wear.
On race day a few weeks ago, Krissa wore a white athletic top with a floral print at the bottom, while I donned a running shirt with a suit and tie print—and we both had our wedding bibs. We started the half marathon, racing toward the park. At mile 6, in front of our family and friends, we were married by a friend who officiated. Hundreds of other racers and well wishers watched, and we still managed to finish the race in under 3 hours, together.
To get our best fitness tips delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
What’s it like having two running devotees in one marriage? We always run together, and being competitive with each other is just not our style—although if Krissa actually trained for speed, she'd leave me in the dust! While we have other couple friends who are competitive and ditch their partner in races, that's not us. We don't care much about personal records.
As a couple, Krissa and I share a love of destination races—we’ve planned a few vacations around half-marathons to places like Bermuda. And later this summer, we’re doing our first triathlon together and are preparing by doing yoga, biking, running, weight-lifting and swimming. While it will be exciting to add yet another first to our fitness bucket list, getting married in the middle of a race is a tough one to follow.