Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dream Wedding: The Race

What did you do the morning of your wedding?
Or, what do you plan to do the morning of your wedding?
Chris and I ran a 5K race with about a dozen family and friends.
I wore my sister's wedding veil (from the 80s) and a BRIDE shirt and Chris wearing a GROOM hat and a Tuxedo shirt.
I don't think we're weird.  I think we're awesome!
This is a race my family has done for many years.  My parents used to run The Muskegon Seaway Run before I was born... then came the years when they would leave me with baby-sitters to run it.  Later, they took me along to the race and found a friend who was a spectator (they did not arrange this beforehand... they just knew that they would know someone in the crowd) and they left me with the friend to cheer while they ran the race.  Soon after came the years when I ran the race with them -- whether I wanted to or not.  :-D

Neither my parents nor I had run the race in over 10 years (and my Dad is getting up there in age given that his 79th birthday is this fall) but when we realized that Chris and my wedding was the same day as the Seaway Run, there was little discussion before Chris and I knew we wanted to run.  Soon after making this announcement, my parents said they'd "come out of retirement" and be running it as well!

Chris and I wanted to do something together on our wedding day before the wedding without seeing each other in the dress and tux until we met a the alter.  We wanted a fun activity for our friends and family to participate in if they wanted, and something we could do together that was COMPLETELY unrelated to the wedding before we commenced with real wedding day activities.  This 5K race was just the ticket.

A total of 11 wedding party and family members ran the race and about that many cheered for us from the sidelines as well.  The group made signs ("Race to the Alter" "Sanden Miller Team 2011") and it was a perfect way to start the wedding day.
Chris and I ran together, and I must say, it felt like torture at the time... I usually run quite a bit faster than Chris does, but I knew it was important for us to complete the race together.  Chris is not a natural runner and the only reason he was running the race was because I asked him to do so.
The night before at the rehearsal dinner, I remember that my maid of honor prayed that, "Throughout the wedding day, time would just stand still for Brooke so she can completely enjoy and revel in this joyful day."  I was laughing over those words as I REALLY felt like time was standing still as Chris and I were running SO SLOWLY!

After the race, as I drove home with girls for a fast shower before pedicures, hair and makeup, I realized that the 45 minutes I spent running with Chris was the most time we had spent just the two of us in weeks.  Those 3.1 miles we spent running together on our wedding day are some of my most precious memories from the wedding day.
Throughout the race, there were people cheering along the race course.  Our minister, Rev. Tim rode his bicycle and met us to cheer us on at a couple of corners.  One group of people started saying "Cling, cling, cling, cling, cling" as though they were clinking glasses for us to stop and kiss.  Someone yelled, "Save your energy for tonight!"  Many asked, "Is the wedding really today?" to which we'd reply, "Sure is!  4:30! It can't start without us!"  We also saw a number of local wedding guests either cheering along the course or running the race themselves.  We felt like celebrities!
 As we neared the finish line, our best man and maid of honor came out from the fans with signs that read "Here Comes The Bride" and "There Goes The Groom" and held them over our heads as we ran the last 1/10th of a mile and across the finish line.  Our cheering section was going CRAZY as we finished the race -- which encouraged the rest of the crowd to join in as well.
I have NEVER heard such loud cheering in my life as we heard as Chris and I finished the race.  There had been an article in the local paper about our running the race, we had the signs over our heads, I was in a veil and BRIDE shirt, Chris was in a GROOM hat and tuxedo shirt, we were holding hands as we approached and crossed the finish line... and the crowd was going NUTS!
I had to explain to Chris that such insane cheering does not always happen when you cross the finish line of a race.  Best way to start our wedding day EVER!

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1 comment:

  1. This is so much fun Brooke! I adore that you two did that the morning of your wedding. And that everyone got involved in the cheering :)

    I enjoyed reading your posts about the wedding...I must say the flowers were beautiful. (always one of my favorite parts of the wedding!)


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