Lucky 13. Years of Marriage That Is

Today, as my husband Alan and I celebrate our 13th anniversary, I want to take a moment to reflect back to the beginning of our relationship.

We met, quite appropriately, at a race. The Palm Springs Tram Road Race, a 3.7 mile torture-fest, which starts at the base of the road to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and heads basically straight up for the entire distance. And gets steeper for the last half mile. Alan and I had both finished the race and were standing across from each other cheering on the finishers. We started to talk to each other, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Alan called me the next day to ask me out, I accepted, and we went out to dinner two days later. We’ve basically been together ever since. A couple days later he headed off to Boston for the 100th running of the marathon, and I knew, because he called me daily, that he felt the same way that I did.

Two years later, when we were planning our wedding, the Tram Road Race seemed a natural. Our good friend Greg is the race director, it was the race at which we met, all of our friends already ran in the event, and a reception at $5 a head (the price of the post-race breakfast/award ceremony for non-runners) made it a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, I’ve never converted all the television video that I have to digital. All the local stations covered the race our wedding, and it was also shown on an episode of the ESPN show Running and Racing. The logistics were interesting. The few people that we know who weren’t runners, which included our minister, my sisters, Alan’s parents, and a couple other friends, were transported to the finish line at about 6:30 am, before the race started (once it starts, the road is closed). You’ve got to be tough to be related to us.

As we ran the race together, one of the local television stations stayed with us, stopping to get a quote from Alan as we ran by each time (he’s good at that). I had the experience that the pros are used to, following a motorcycle with a cameraman sitting backwards filming us. I almost had an asthma attack as Alan started out with a bit too strong of a pace.

I was dressed in white satin running shorts, a white lace running bra, and a garter. At the finish line, I changed into a duplicate, added a white lace t-shirt and a veil, while Alan donned a tuxedo jacket and dry, black and white running shorts.

One nice advantage of having a race wedding, was that we were able save money and use our savings to travel to Paris and Italy for our honeymoon. Late October in Paris, what more can I say?

We just spent one day in Florence, Italy (that’s a whole other story). But, since it was my birthday it was very special. I picked as my present a wedding band from one of the gold sellers on the Ponte Vecchio (something we hadn’t purchased before the wedding).

Through our 13 lucky years, we have had so many joyous moments and wonderful times. While we didn’t raise a family together, we share the joy of each others’ children and grandchildren. Our current “children” are our dogs and cats. We train together, race together, we became vegetarians together and we coach together. Our lives are so entwined that I can’t imagine how they would be apart.

Happy Anniversary to my love. I’m looking forward to the next 13 years of marriage.