I went to college in the Chicago area, and I always knew when that city’s famous marathon had happened. How did I know?
Well, you could see the marks of the race in the way in which participants moved the morning after. Normally spry young athletes suddenly took to moving as though they were geriatrics.
It’s not hard to understand why. At 26.2 miles long, a marathon is one lengthy race.
However, a pair of runners named Whitney Black and Steven Phillips recently decided to embark on a lifelong contest together. And they did so during a marathon.
This morning, Steven Phillips and Whitney Black decided to take a break halfway through the #FreepMarathon.
To get married. https://t.co/kTmdtwYwyw
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) October 21, 2018
According to WLS, the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon is the only marathon that’s partially in the United States and partially in Canada. What’s more, it’s a race that Black thought she would never be able to run.
A decade ago, she’d was in a terrible accident while riding a snowmobile down a private drive, the Detroit Free Press reported.
A car driving in the wrong lane ran into her. She received “twenty-one surgeries in total,” her brother, McCann Black said.
“She was told she may never walk again. I’m just so proud of her, watching her set these goals and then blow through them has helped our family a great deal.”
That wasn’t the only accident Black experienced. Eighteen months ago, an SUV ran into her while she was running.
“I quickly got back up and looked right at him — I know he looked at me — and he took off,” Black said. “What hurt the most is knowing that someone can just do that to someone and not care.”
Phillips has gone through his own health struggles, too. Several years ago, he tipped the scales at 300 pounds.
“I couldn’t run more than one lap on the track, which was about one-sixth of a mile,” he said. “I would run a lap, walk a lap, and build up from that.”
Their love of long-distance running joined their love for each other on Oct. 21. They combined Black’s first marathon with a wedding ceremony at the 13.1-mile mark.
An officiant waited for them there along with family members, a veil, and their wedding rings. The couple tossed back gulps of Gatorade and swapped adorably idiosyncratic wedding vows.
“I promise to trust you even when we deviate from our grocery list,” Black stated. Phillips added, “I will choose you every day, not because I have to, but because I want to.”
Four hours and 47 minutes after they’d begun, Whitney and Steven finished the run. It was their first marathon together as a couple — and as husband and wife.
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