FITNESS: Race You to the Alter
BY CATHERINE WILD
Most weddings come with months of planning. First, you and your husband- or wife-to-be are busy picking the perfect date. Then, you’re choosing a theme, colors, a cake, rings, organizing a wedding party and most importantly, where will the nuptials take place?
For Central New York athletes like Amanda and Dwaine Spence, getting married during a half-marathon was the perfect way to tie the knot.
The ceremony, at the 3-mile mark of the Las Vegas Half Marathon on Dec. 2, 2012, ensured that it would be attended by a small group of close family and set in a fun, healthy and informal atmosphere. And since Amanda and Dwaine have always incorporated travel and athletics into their relationship, the setting seemed fitting.
The couple got engaged after running a full marathon in Barcelona last March, which made tying the knot during a half-marathon a much lighter workout. This unique choice of vows also was supported by their families, said Amanda
The Las Vegas event is geared toward couples like Amanda and Dwaine who want to tie the knot at the 3-mile mark of the race. The ceremony is short and afterward, man and wife run the final 10.1 miles to the finish line together, rather than dancing a first dance.
Amanda and Dwaine met each other working in Radiation-Oncology at Upstate Medical University and they have always enjoyed exercising together. Some days Amanda drags Dwaine to the pool to swim, which is her strength but not his. On other days the two go out for a jog or spin on their bikes indoors.
Because of their shared passion for exercise and adventure, Amanda and Dwaine find ways of incorporating athletic events into traveling.
Amanda hailed running a marathon in Barcelona as a great way to see the city. “You are basically running down some of the most major streets of Barcelona, down the biggest strip,” Amanda said. The couple hopes to continue to see the world together in this way, anticipating a trip to San Diego in the future. In the spring, Amanda and Dwaine are looking to find something to do in Washington D.C., where Amanda’s brother lives and an area Dwaine has never seen.
Amanda described the wedding as “high energy for sure” and said she thought the bonding experience of running the 10 miles together afterward was something that rivals a first dance.
Their relationship grew out of a friendship as the couple realized they shared the same hobbies and came to enjoy spending time together. Right from the get-go, said Amanda, they realized they enjoyed the same things and the relationship took off from there.
And much like racing toward a finish line after the wedding, it hasn’t slowed since.
Catherine Wilde is a 30-something professional and regular Syracuse Woman Magazine contributor who competes in local triathlons and open swim competitions. She’s an avid runner, cyclist and swimmer.