If you’re looking for a winning couple, Allison and Ben Clarke are hard to beat.
Impossible, in fact.
Less than 48 hours after tying the knot, these Morristown newlyweds laced up their running shoes and won the UNICO Labor Day 5K in Verona.
Married life obviously agrees with Ben, who shrugged off the muggy weather and shaved 25 seconds from his winning time last year–while leaving members of the wedding party in the dust.
He crossed the finish line with a time of 16:16:19, according to our friends at MyVeronaNJ.com.
Holy Matrimony also put some spring in Allison’s step. She improved on last year’s second-place showing to lead the women’s division with a 19:07.45 time.
The couple postponed their honeymoon because this race held special significance. Ben proposed to Allison a day before the 2013 UNICO 5K.
Allison flashed a big grin when asked what attracted her to Ben, an electrical-fiber optics engineer at General Dynamics and winner of numerous local races.
“He’s just a fast guy,” she said. “And he’s very humble.”
CATCH THEM IF YOU CAN
Allison Dublinski Clarke played soccer in college. She took up running as a stress-reliever while studying architecture in grad school, and qualified for the Olympic time trials as a marathoner. “Running is the easiest sport out there,” she said. “It connects almost every human being.” Allison has extra motivation: Her brother is sidelined with muscular dystrophy. “I run for him,” she said.
Ben hails from a family of runners and recommends the sport as a great way to find romance. “You’re going to meet dedicated people, fun people, athletic- and fit people, if you’re of that personality,” he said.
The couple, both 30, attended Georgia Tech at the same time and had mutual acquaintances, but never knew each other at school.
An avid marathoner, Ben noticed Allison’s name among the finishers of the 2008 Chicago Marathon and emailed congratulations. Their race was on.
No toasters or serving sets awaited them in the Verona winners’ circle. Instead, these newlyweds got prizes they actually can use… running shoes.
Never mind that Allison already sells jogging gear at the Morristown Running Company. The Clarkes will need all the footwear they can get for the long road ahead.
In October, they have a marathon in Corning, NY.
And don’t be surprised if they choose a honeymoon spot with a race attached.
“I’m sure we will bring our running clothes wherever we go,” Ben said.
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