Couple That Runs Together, Stays Together

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 25, 2011
  • Updated Feb. 25, 2011 at 9:49 AM UTC

Lee Stephens and Christa Benton have been running together since 2004. Photo:

Running is an important part of their relationship.

Many couples go out for a run together, but there aren’t many like Tampa Bay residents Lee Stephens and Christa Benton. Both elite runners, they had been visiting North Georgia in June 2009. On a run up Brasstown Bald Mountain, Lee told then-girlfriend Christa that he wanted to make a short stop in order to take a photo of the beautiful view.

However, he didn’t pull out a camera. In his hand was an engagement ring. He proposed to her. She said, “Yes.”

“I thought about asking her [to marry] like a lot of runners do, in the middle of a race, but to me, that didn’t seem like a very intimate setting,” Stephens remembers.

After their wedding reception, the runners removed their formalwear and donned running shoes. Their guests cheered them as they ran to their car for the start of their honeymoon.

Husband and wife are taking part in this weekend’s Gasparilla 15K race.

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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