Traverse City Record-Eagle


May 25, 2014

Couple runs half marathon week before wedding

TRAVERSE CITY — What do you do one week before your wedding?

If you're Kelsey Hawkins and Stephen Hobson, you run the Bayshore Half Marathon.

The soon-to-be-wed couple crossed the finish line together Saturday — Hobson in 2:28:10 and Hawkins in 2:28:11. Hawkins ran the race carrying a 45-pound backpack. Hawkins and bridesmaid Mary Cantor wore tutus. Cantor also finished in 2:28:11.

The 13.1-mile half marathon was Hawkins' idea.

"I told him (Hobson) I was running the half marathon," Hawkins explained. "He said, 'Oh, why don't you do the full marathon?' He was making fun of me, giving me a hard time. Then I told him, 'I signed you up, too.'"

"She called my bluff," Hobson said.

The 24-year-old Hawkins, who's from Williamsburg, and the 26-year-old Hobson, who's from Flushing, are not runners.

"But we trained throughout the fall and the winter, running through the snow, to get ready," Hawkins said. "We were looking forward to this day."

Why run a half, though, when a 10K was available?

"Why not?" Hawkins responded.

"It's a challenge," Hobson added.

So was carrying a weighted backpack.

"I just wanted to do it," he said.

And why the tutus?

"Why not?" Hawkins said. "That's our motto. (Cantor) talked me into it."

Hawkins and Hobson met at Hope College.

"Coolest guy I know," Hawkins said.

"Coolest girl I know," Hobson responded.

The two will be wed in Elk Rapids next weekend, then will move to Tennessee. Hawkins just landed an elementary teaching job there.

And they'll always have the memory of running the Bayshore together.

"It was a little hot at the end," Hobson said. "But it was fun. I'm glad we did it."



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