For Alyssa and Drew Sutherland, a pair of Nike running shoes compliments a wedding suit and gown just perfectly.
The two are newlyweds from Lethbridge, Alberta. They have been together for three and a half years and got married just this past July. Running has been a solid part of their relationship– so much so that they had to include the sport in their big day. They wore comfy pairs of sneakers for a cushy jaunt down the aisle and as for their honeymoon, they spent it at the Disney Marathon.
The Sutherlands studied education in university and met when they sat beside each other in class. “He just never paid any attention to me,” says Alyssa. “I asked for his number on the last day of class. We went for coffee which turned into dinner.”
When the couple first started dating, Alyssa was training for her first half marathon. Originally, she was the only runner in the duo. Drew showed no interest. After she finished her first half though, he wanted to run one too. Pretty soon, running became the anchor in their relationship.
“One of the things we really like is that you get to spend quality unplugged time together– no TV, no phone,” says Alyssa. “You get to have good, deep conversations.” She says running is how they connect the best.
Now, they have run nearly all of their races together. They do most of their training together and while some couples might have movie night, the Sutherland’s go running. It works for their relationship but is also makes them better runners. Alyssa says Drew pushes her but that she stops him from going too hard on some of their runs.
Before they got married, the two were training to run their first marathon. The idea was to run a marathon before they got married. They signed up for the Calgary Marathon but an IT band injury stopped Alyssa from running.
“It kind of changed the whole plan for the wedding,” says Alyssa. Drew went ahead and ran Calgary but the couple still wanted to do the full together. That’s when they came up with the idea of running the Disney Marathon for their honeymoon.
“Oh my goodness, it was so, so fun,” says Alyssa about her honeymoon marathon. “I went into the week before with so many nerves.”
Now happily married for seven months, the couple spends their time watching cooking shows together, discovering new recipes. Or they head to the yoga studio. For the marriage that started out racing at Disney World, the happily ever after is their continuous running routine. They head out together regularly during the week.
“For me it has completely changed my life,” says Alyssa. “We have become a better couple because of it.”