PUBLISHED: 10:23 14 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:13 14 April 2019
A pair of newlyweds kicked off their wedding day by joining dozens of friends on a five-kilometre Parkrun.
Simon Wright and Anna Thorpe – dressed in wedding gear – joined fellow runners at the Catton Park event on Saturday morning.
Mr Wright, former Liberal Democrat MP for Norwich South, said, along with regular runners, they were also joined by friends, family and work colleagues.
And everyone was well and truly into the swing of the festivities – he said people came to the run dressed up as bridesmaids, vicars and choir boys, while one person came as an Aston Martin and another as a chimney sweep.
Running has been a key theme in the couple’s relationship – they met at a Parkrun, and Mr Wright proposed during a torch-lit run around Whitlingham lake.
“We knew early on that we wanted to build Parkrun into our special day,” he said. “For us, it is our weekend tradition – we always start off our Saturday, wherever we are, with a Parkrun and we love being part of that community.
“It was absolutely amazing – we were really bowled over by the enthusiasm and support that so many people gave us.
“There were regular Parkrunners, but also people coming for their first time.”
After the run, the pair went their separate ways to get ready for the ceremony.
“Obviously we understand the tradition that generally the bride and groom wouldn’t see each other before the big day, but for us the bigger tradition was Parkrun,” he said.
“We did maintain that tradition in that I didn’t see Anna in her dress before the service.”
On Saturday afternoon, they tied the knot at St Matthews Church, before celebrating with loved ones at a reception at Redwell brewery in Trowse.
But Mr Wright, chief executive at child bereavement charity Nelson’s Journey, said the running theme ran through the day – the couple’s running numbers were part of the decorations, and guests enjoyed a themed cake.
He described the day as “fantastic”, and said: “We are now looking forward to running our lives together.”