Sunday, August 26, 2007

Running to the altar

I found this random article today on
FLINT - This bride clearly didn't have cold feet: She ran down the aisle.

An aisle almost 10 miles long.

Cheeks flushed, veil-donning Patty Sawdon gracefully wore a white running skirt and matching jogger's bra. Her bridegroom, Matt Wilson, was dashing in black Nike gear and sneakers.

They were both a tad sweaty, but not because of nerves. They were running Saturday's Crim 10-mile race - which for them was a race to the altar.

The couple wed around the 9.8-mile mark, on the lawn of the Genesee County Courthouse.

They then crossed the finish line hand in hand.

"I'm a hurry-up bride rather than a bridezilla," Sawdon laughed, holding a bouquet sprinkled with pink roses and green baby's breath. "The Crim is really meaningful to us, and running is really meaningful to us, so this made sense."

The newlyweds' addiction to running brought them together.

Sawdon, 47, of Haslett, and Flint-area native Wilson, 45 - who both recently moved to Pennsylvania - might go down in Crim history for their on-the-course moment.

There were other head-turners Saturday, such as the leopard-print-donning Catwoman, cape-draping Batman and Robin duo and the hula girls.

But Sawdon, who ran with her veil flying behind her, stirred the juiciest buzz. She became known as the bride dashing to get to her 9:45 a.m. wedding on S. Saginaw Street.

"People would ask, 'When is the wedding?' I'd say 'I'm hoping to make it,'" said Sawdon. "I got a couple of wedding proposals and a lot of people congratulated me. It was so fun. I'm going to wear the veil in all of my races."

Wilson got to the ribbon-decked tent first and waited for Sawdon, along with a minister and family and friends who were ready with a "just married" sign.

A nearly breathless Sawdon sprinted to her bridegroom amid chiming cow bells and the "Wedding March" processional for a five-minute ceremony of exchanging gold bands, vows and a kiss - before dashing down the last stretch of the course together.

"At first, I thought it was crazy, but now I think it's just wonderful," said the bridegroom's mother, Marilyn Wilson of Flint Township. "You can see they really enjoy each other and sharing it with this many people."

The couple came back to the Team Playmakers tent for pink champagne, cake and music.

The two met in January through Sawdon's brother. She said she thought Wilson was "this crazy guy who ran 100-plus miles per week."

But then they started sharing the perfect dates: running together.

"We really supported each other's lifestyles and encouraged each other and just kind of fell in love. We didn't mean to," Sawdon said, laughing. "It's a second marriage for both of us. We were married to non-runners before - a terrible mistake."

Sawdon, a business systems analyst for a pharmaceutical company, and Wilson, who works for a railroad company, hope to travel for more races and do a marathon together.

"I love her," said Wilson, who fell for Sawdon's easygoing personality and runner's fervor. "Running brought us together so this seemed the natural thing."

Sawdon said she fell for Wilson's sense of humor and smarts.

Oh, and it helps that "he's got really great legs," she said.
Not my idea of a dream wedding (puh-lease, I can barely run a 1/2 mile on the treadmill without getting winded!), but it sounds like it suited them perfectly. And it's most definitely unique! :-)

Have any of you ever been to or seen a really out-of-the-ordinary wedding? Tell us about it!

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