Michael Bergeron and Jennie Orr were married on July 28th, and the morning after their wedding, they hosted the Snowie Road 5K. The race took place in North Rustico, P.E.I and started on Orr’s family farm.
Bergeron proposed to Orr last year at the day before the Boston Marathon. “I proposed a day early at the finish line because I knew we weren’t going to run together,” says Bergeron, ‘and it would probably be too hectic to propose at the end of the race. We went to the finish line to take some pictures, and once we were done, I dropped to one knee and proposed.”
Orr jokes that her version of the story is a little different, “I was very cranky. It’s the day before a marathon, so you’re a little on edge. I wanted food, and everyone wanted to keep taking pictures–I didn’t understand why. Then the proposal happened. I had no idea at all.”
The couple planned a wedding and a race simultaneously, something that Orr says she’s glad they did, but wouldn’t do again. “We’re probably going to put the race on for years to come. It’ll become an anniversary run, which is really nice. That being said, would I get married and then run a race the day after again? Probably not. But it was really fun in the end.”
Bergeron and Orr said that part of the challenge was planning everything remotely. They live in Halifax but got married in North Rustico. Bergeron said, “We learned all of the logistics of putting a race on at a distance: race permits, BBQ, awards, timing, set-up, etcetera.”
Orr continued, “We do a lot of racing, so it was great to see the other side of things.
“The race route is sentimental for me, it’s where I started running. The race starts on my farm, which is very hilly and pretty. When I started running, every day for a year I ran that route until I could run it in under 25 minutes. There was no better way to celebrate getting married than to do a race in that place. I think everyone really enjoyed it.”
The couple had an all you can eat B.B.Q and awards post-race. Entry was only $10, and 53 runners completed the 5K course. Orr says the race is certainly something they will do again. “It’s something different, it’s local, and it means a lot to me. It’ll also be a great way to celebrate our anniversary.” Orr joked, “And we would’ve gone running at some point that day anyway, might as well get it over with.”