The Endurance lovers
‘I stalked my wife Susie Chan on Twitter and we’ve been together for four years!’ says endurance runner Shaun, who proposed to his wife at the Marathon Des Sables finish line. ‘Running is such a huge part of my life, being able to share that with Susie and being a part of something so gigantic in her life is the best thing ever.’
‘Running benefits our relationship, without a doubt,’ adds Shaun. ‘It takes us to so many amazing places and gives us memories that will stay with us forever. There are a few races that I definitely wouldn't have made it to the finish line if it wasn't for Susie.
'Running together definitely motivates me. There are a few occasions where I would have sacked off going out for a run with no better excuse other than being lazy. Susie gets me out of the door more often than the other way round! I don't think I would have achieved half of the things I have if it wasn't for Susie.’ Shaun Marsden, Farnham
Love on the Bug
‘I met my husband through The Running Bug,' says ultra runner Sharon. 'We hit it off straight away, we must have, we got married 18 months later. The best thing about running together is they are always no pressure runs where the pace isn’t so important so I can just relax and enjoy the time and there is usually some banter as we go,' she adds. 'I think that we are both runners is a good thing, as we appreciate the hard work that goes into it, empathise with the struggles and the injuries and it helps keep things in perspective.’
‘These days the majority of my events are above marathon distance up to 100 miles, so the training and the planning for these takes up a huge quantity of time. The support of a partner who understands what drives me, understands the need to get the miles done and doesn’t complain about me going missing for a day most weekends to get those miles in, is irreplaceable - his support and belief in me have helped me achieve things I have always thought about doing but not been confident enough to go for.’ Sharon Spriggs, Cumbria
The support crew
‘I met my wife through running and it’s still a major part of our life together,' says Ian. 'It’s great having the same interest as we can talk for hours about it, normally me asking advice. I am very much a reluctant runner and I wouldn’t do half of what I do without Sharon.
'She is very much the mastermind behind my running, she writes my plans, supports me, gets me through any niggles. On the days when I struggle to get out of the door it’s the thought of Sharon that spurs me on. She has invested so much time and has so much faith in me, I have a huge fear of letting her down. Sharon is quicker than me so she is always ahead of me; it’s a great view though!’ Ian Spriggs, Cumbria
The fit buddies
‘My fiancé and I run together usually at the weekend for our long runs and we’ll always run together on holiday. We celebrated our engagement by heading out for run along Brighton seafront,' says Cathy. 'The best thing about running with him is he makes me laugh, and we’re good at keeping each other motivated in terrible weather!
‘Running together keeps us both happy, gets us out the house and neither of us are ever ill. We also both cycle everywhere, and spend plenty of time in the gym – so most of our free time together is spent training – we’d hardly see each other if we didn’t do some of these things together! Having a partner who runs definitely motives me to run faster – I need to keep within 10% of all his finish times!’ Cathy Drew, Brighton
Run club love
‘Lorna and I met through going to the Nike run club from the Covent Garden store,' says Steve. 'We have been together for nearly a year and a half. We run together quite a lot, however when we are training specifically for races we have days when we'll do our own thing. The best thing about running together is sharing experiences.’
‘Running definitely benefits our relationship,' he explains. 'It makes both of us happy. I think you learn to be more sympathetic because you know what it's like to have a bad run, it makes you think about the little things and what you can do or say to pick your partner up. Running/keeping fit also means we prioritise eating well and getting a good amount of sleep.
'I feel so lucky to have met Lorna and be able to share our enjoyment of running. Having a running partner 100% motivates me. I want to be able to run faster to make her proud and run further so we have the option of doing some exploring.’ Steve Skinner, London
High school sweethearts
‘I’ve been with my partner Alex for 17 years,' says Ben. 'The best thing about running together is it's the perfect couple time; no distractions, no possibility to be looking at phones, time to just enjoy being out together doing something we both love,' he explains. 'Running is the key to happiness isn't it? Quite honestly if we don't both get our training in each week then our grumpiness and stress levels go up. For both of us it's much needed peace away from the craziness of family life and a time to unwind physically and mentally.
'She gives me a nudge when I'm contemplating not going out because I'm tired/it's cold and dark and gives me reassurance when I'm doubting if I can complete a tough race,' he adds. 'There is no greater motivator than making your loved ones proud.’ Ben, Swindon
‘When my partner Graeme and I were first getting together, doing training sessions together was a rather convenient excuse to see each other regularly! says Rhona. 'Since then running has been always a central part of our life together. I'm an ultra runner, so frequently spend hours out on the trail at the weekends - running together means we get to spend more time together!
'Running definitely benefits our relationship, especially with training for ultras; you see each other at your best and worst, and learn how the other person responds in different situations. Also, if you've got through a 95-mile race together, you know you can do anything.’ Rhona McKinnon, Edinburgh
‘Amy was the first person to run 53 marathons in 53 consecutive days in a different town across UK in 2014,' says Dave. 'I offered to help her as she was my sports therapist. As the days went by we became closer and closer. As she is always training for different events it's the only time I get to see her! But we get to enjoy getting away from it all together. Running benefits our relationship.
'We have run races together. Her slowing down to run with me! We recently ran a 10K where we raced and needless to say I was quite far behind her 42mins! Having a running partner motivates me as I am competitive so I want to try and train more to keep up with Amy.’ Dave Keighley, Cheshire
The love of adventure
‘I’ve been with Claudi for three years but we’ve done so much together it often feels a lot longer. I mean that in a really good way,' says James. 'As co-founders of AdventRunning and Captains for adidas runners we run together four or five times a week, which is great. Away from our run coaching and leading commitments we also love to run in the mountains. Over the past few years we have run all over the French, Swiss and Italian Alps, Nepal and most recently over Christmas we ran in the Tramatura Mountains in Mallorca.'
‘The best thing about running together is probably the things we’ve seen and the experiences we’ve shared,' he adds. 'From early morning bagel runs from Brick Lane through to crossing the 5,416m Thorong La pass in Nepal, we’ve had some amazing times. Hopefully we have many more ahead of us. Running as a couple has opened up a world of opportunities to us - ones that would not have been possible or as fulfilling on our own. Having a running partner absolutely motivates me. We run a lot of miles each week and I would definitely do less if I didn’t live with my favourite training partner.’ James Poole, London