Some people get married on top of the mountain, some hundreds of feet under water and some thousands of feet in the air. But this unique couple got married at the start of the Great Floridian ironman triathlon at Clermont’s Waterfront Park.
Kent Fawcett, 43, married Danelle Weidman, 38, under an oak tree in the pre-dawn light before the Great Floridian Triathlon in Clermont and then raced each other in the Ironman. They both used a permanent marker to “bodymark” a “wedding ring” onto each other’s finger. The bride wore a white veil and wetsuit. Instead of flowers, the bride’s bouquet was a multi-colored, multi-flavored arrangement of Gu, energy gel packets designed to sustain athletes during races.
At the end of the service, the groom was told he could now “race the bride.”
Weidman met Kent at a church retreat in Georgia six years ago-they’ve since spent much of their time together running in 50 long-distance races.
Instead of a ring Kent proposed to Danelle with a competition bike.
The 38-year-old bride also vowed never, ever to leave her betrothed — unless her true love couldn’t keep up during the Great Floridian Triathlon, where the two endurance athletes were married before the sun rose on Saturday’s race.
“You really find out who someone is after you spend seven hours together biking or running 50 miles,” the bride said. “We’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly and sweaty reality of each other. I couldn’t love him more.”
“We ran about nine miles around the lake and stopped under some beautiful oak trees close to the beach,” he said. “I couldn’t help myself. I dropped to one knee, and she said, ‘Yes.’ She still can’t believe I carried the ring in a box tucked in my running shorts all the way around the lake.”
The groom, who competed in the race despite a cracked rib suffered in a training accident last month, withdrew in pain with about 8 miles left in his run, the final leg of the contest. But he was waiting for his bride when she crossed the finish line in 14 hours, 50 minutes, her veil flagging behind her.
In Great Floridian ironman triathlon, competitors
- swim 2.4 miles in Lake Minneola
- bike 112 miles up and around Sugarloaf Mountain
- run a marathon of 26 miles-plus.
Crazy but very much made for each other!I love the idea of alternatives to ring. I would have loved to give my fiance a state of the art gaming desktop with 52 inch display and 7.1 surround sound speakers. But unfortunately, she loves diamonds more than anything!