A sporty Clapham Common couple are limbering up for the biggest day of their lives as they are set to marry halfway through Sunday’s London Marathon.
Around 40,000 competitors are expected to compete in the gruelling 26-mile challenge this Sunday but Laura Harvey and Paul Elliott will be racing to the altar as well as The Mall.
The pair will start at the line-up in outfits made by the bride and her mum which combine traditional wedding attire, including a top hat and a veil, with more practical running elements.
Bride-to-be Laura said: “All our family and friends are really excited about it because it is something so different.
“It will be great for them to experience the atmosphere of the marathon and a wedding at the same time.”
The lovebirds will have to navigate the first half of the course separately before two become one at a St Katherine’s Dock ceremony which will be attended by 80 guests.
RUNAWAY BRIDE AND GROOM! Paul and Laura will run 13 miles before saying ‘I do’
Paul will find the race extra tasking following knee reconstruction surgery in January 2014 while Laura, a 34-year-old physiotherapist at Whittington Hospital, has previous experience after completing the course in 2009.
The 41-year-old joked: “There’s a good chance Laura will beat me to the venue so the bride will be waiting for the groom which will make a change!”
A quick kiss and a photo is all there’ll be time for before the newlyweds set off to complete the course as man and wife.
After a shower and outfit change they will return to the venue to dance the night away at the evening reception.
“I’m not sure if I’m more nervous about getting married or the running but if everything goes to plan it will be amazing,” Laura revealed.
ON THE RUN! Paul will be dashing to the altar to meet up with fellow runner Laura
The pair were inspired to have such an usual wedding by Paul’s dad, Mark, who died from bowel cancer in December 1995.
Paul said: “Sadly dad won’t be at our wedding but by raising £5,000 for Cancer Research UK we hope to honour his memory.
“I’d always wanted to run the London Marathon for Cancer Research UK and we thought combining the two would make an amazing day.
“He would think it was a fantastic idea to do something special and different and also proud that we were raising money for charity.”
As official charity partner for the event, Cancer Research UK is hoping to raise £2.5 million to help build research centre the Francis Crick Institute.
Cancer Research UK’s Head of Sports, Helen Jackson, said: “It’s thanks to the incredible support of people like Laura and Paul that Cancer Research UK’s doctors, nurses and scientists are able to go on making progress in the fight against cancer.
“Every hour more than three people in London are diagnosed with cancer.
“Everyone who pulls on their trainers for Cancer Research UK will know they are helping to create more tomorrow’s for families.”
You can donate to Laura and Paul’s fundraising page here http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/londonmarathonwedding