An Eastbourne woman is set to combine romance with running as she prepares to wed her fiancé during the London Marathon later this month.
Former Cavendish School pupil Laura Harvey will be taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 26 alongside her partner, Paul Elliott, in aid of Cancer Research UK. And as if the challenge of running 26.2 miles wasn’t enough of an occasion for the pair, they will also be getting hitched along the way.
Laura, 34, and Paul, 41, were inspired to combine their love of running and their wedding by Paul’s dad, Mark, who died from bowel cancer in December 1995.
Paul, who is originally from Winchester, said, “Sadly Dad won’t be at our wedding but by raising £5,000 for Cancer Research UK, we hope to honour his memory. I’d always wanted to run the London Marathon for Cancer Research UK and we thought combining the two would make an amazing day.
“I think he would be proud that we were raising money for charity and think it was a fantastic idea to do something special and different.”
The pair plan to run the first half of the marathon separately before meeting half way round, at St Katherine’s Dock, for the ceremony, to be witnessed by 80 guests. They will then have a quick photo and complete the run together. After a wash and brush up, they will return to the venue for their evening reception.
The pair will be wearing specially crafted outfits handmade by the bride and her mum, combining traditional wedding attire with a more practical and comfortable design and materials for running.
Laura, who works as a physiotherapist and completed the London Marathon in 2009, said, “We will have two versions each so if it rains, we will have the chance to change into our fresh ones before the ceremony. Hopefully they will be comfortable to run in and we will stand out from the crowd. All our family and friends are really excited about it because it is something so different. It will be great for them to experience the atmosphere of the marathon and a wedding at the same time.
“I’m not sure if I’m more nervous about getting married or the running but if everything goes to plan it will be amazing.”
Paul added. “There’s a good chance Laura will beat me to the venue so the bride will be waiting for the groom, which will make a change.”
To support the couple, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/londonmarathonwedding.