The Most Important Mile of My Life: Heidi Parker

Bride and groom running
Heidi running her first mile as a newly married woman. We think you'll agree with us: They could NOT be any cuter!!

On June 2, 2012, I married my best friend, my partner, my teammate; and subsequently ran the most important mile of my life--in my wedding dress, with the love of my life right beside me.

For both of us, this was a second marriage. From the beginning, we shared a love for running and soon I was introduced to the Reno Tahoe Odyssey Relay Race. My husband, Pete, has run every year since its inception, so when he spontaneously suggested we get married during the 2012 event, I said yes!

Over a couple of beers, we asked the race director for his blessing and for our returning 2011 teammates to be our minister, groomsmen, and bridesmaids. A quick text to the maid of honor and best man, and Team “Wedding Party” was ready to run!

Love is in the (thin, Sierra Nevada) air
Love is in the (thin, Sierra Nevada) air

We exchanged vows at the Virginia City, NV, Exchange Point and the ceremony (tracked on my husband’s Garmin, of course) involved running shoes, a GUquet, , our kids, dedicated family and friends, and a few hundred runners as witness. Immediately after that ring was placed on my finger and I threw my GUquet, my first mile as a newlywed began: I ran from 1 S C St, a.k.a The Bucket of Blood Saloon, out of Virginia City, and my new husband ran with me.

Devoted runners Heidi and Pete
Devoted runners Heidi and Pete

It was the perfect setting for us to take the next step in our almost-five-year relationship. My husband’s 1,000' elevation gain run up Gold Hill into Virginia City (and all the other hills we ran up and down before that) was the perfect metaphor for the successes and challenges one often faces in life, as well as in love.

We’re still running and looking forward to celebrating our 2nd anniversary at the 10th Annual Reno Tahoe Odyssey on May 30.

Gives new meaning to "crowd support"
Gives new meaning to "crowd support"





7 responses to “The Most Important Mile of My Life: Heidi Parker

  1. What a great love story! I live in Reno and remember hearing about of your RTO wedding. So nice to hear about a local fairy tale.

  2. That is a great story – how fun to hear the comments during the race! We strive to be really, really fun; but we also know running helps us face life’s challenges. Many answers have been found thanks to logging a bunch of miles 🙂

  3. What a lovely story. And probably a really, really fun couple. When I ran Grandma’s marathon this past summer there was a couple who were wearing shirts saying they were getting married at mile 24. They were perfectly paced for me so I stayed behind them for a solid 5 miles just enjoying all the great comments they were getting from other runners. They crossed the finish line as newlyweds. Couples that can run together surely will have a solid marriage 🙂

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