Hello all you wonderful buzzers! I am sorry this has taken me so long to write but life has been a bit full recently!
For those that don't know the background I'll fill you in...
In 2013 I ran the London Marathon, it was my first ever marathon. I had trained hard for it and although, looking back, I can see lots of mistakes I made in the preperation, I managed a time of 4.26 and I was happy with that. One of the things I took seriously in my prep was to join Realbuzz. I knew I needed all the help I could get; I wasn't a member of a running club, I trained alone, no friends were interested in what I was doing. I found here on Realbuzz a bunch of the most supportive, most positive people you could ever hope to meet...
Although of course I didn't meet them! This virtual community was spread far and wide, never met face to face but I quickly felt I was getting to know people.
There was quite a bunch of bloggers taking on London that year. One of which, a certain Jenny McCarthy who lived in Manchester. We would read each others blogs and comment. After London we kept up the blogging and I even met a few people, Vin at London, Hollywood Dave, Jim and Dave Hobs among others. In the winter of 2013 I started training for Paris. Jenny McC was training for London again. We decided to use the same training plan, we called it the 'Angus' plan as it was suggested to us by Angus on here (another person I was yet to meet at the time) As Paris was a week before London I was a week ahead of Jenny on the plan. We began comparing notes about how our training was going. It was fun to share and we began to form a (long distance) bond.
Around this time someone had the idea that it would be good to share our 'back stories' with other buzzers, to give a glimpse of our lives outside of running, perhaps mentioning how we came to running in the first place. I posted mine. By this stage I had been private messaging Jenny and she offered to share her back story with me if I sent her my email address. So we then started emailing each other. Then we exchanged phone numbers. I can still remember clearly the excitement of that first ever phone call with Jenny; I was like a schoolboy again, nervous and very excited. We talked a lot about running but we also shared other stuff about our lives.
In the lead up to Paris and London 2014 Jenny and I would be in touch every day, often many times a day. We lived 167 miles apart, I was in an unhappy marriage, I found a connection with Jenny that was so strong even though we had never met.
We cooked up a way of meeting, several buzzers had begun meeting up at races, we thought it might be perfectly 'natural' to do the same. I found a race that was geographically half way between Salisbury and Manchester, a half marathon in Stratford On Avon. March 2014, we finally met. I was already in love with her. The day was magical. The race was dreadful!
That year the buzzers had a meet up picnic in Hyde park before London. I met Jenny beforehand, along with her two daughters. I supported Jenny that day, popping up along the marathon route about 5 times, I had a placard, on one side it said 'Go Buzzers!' and on the other 'Go Jenny!' At one point as Jenny ran confidently past me I found myself shouting out "I love you!"
Fast forward a roller-coaster of a year or so and I was seperated from my wife and planning on moving to Manchester. I lost my job down south and the time was right to have a complete change. I moved in with Jenny and fell into the exciting world of Manchester life.
A year (and several marathons) later I asked Jenny to marry me.
August the 12th this year we got married. As our journey together had began on this website and continued through running, it was appropriate that our wedding day began with a parkrun. There are so many wonderful parkruns to choose from in Manchester but we wanted a beautiful one where we could have a picnic afterwards so we chose Lyme Park. OK so it is the fourth most hilly parkrun in the country but nobody was going for a pb!! Several realbuzzers came to the wedding, including Hobs who ran the entire parkrun dressed as a waiter carrying a tray with two champagne glasses on, he managed it round hardly spilling a drop. Jenny and I were dressed as the bride and groom. My son who was also my best man, ran with our puppy Bella, her first ever Parkrun! The organisers embraced our day, they even got everyone to form an arch for us to run through on the finish line, we then drank Hobs' champaigne!
The wedding day itself was a delight, we held it in Victoria Baths in Manchester, a wonderful old swimming pool where we got hitched literally in the deep end of the pool. Then we partied all night long. Turns out Buzzers are great dancers too!
We have just got back from our honeymoon in Italy, of course it began with the Milan Parkrun and as I am in training for an ultra at the moment that was the first of four runs during the week. Jenny ran three times herself even though she's not in training! When we run together we are so close, almost as one. It is such a special thing that brought us together and we will never forget what started this wonderful romance.
So we are back home now and I am reflecting on how running, and Realbuzz in particular has a lot to answer to.
This is a great community. I hope we are not the last couple that meet through it and go on to share their lives together.
Thanks guys, we will be forever grateful...
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