36 couples exchange vows along Valentine’s Day marathon course

Love at mile 10

Sanjin and Sarah Gacina of Los Angeles celebrate renewing their wedding vows at mile 10 of the L.A. Marathon.

(Christina House / For The Times)

Shawna Horvath waited at mile marker 10, looking for her husband, Michael, in the crowd of L.A. Marathon runners so she could give him a water bottle.

“Follow me,” Michael Horvath said, leading his wife to an arch of red, white and pink balloons at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

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There, on Valentine’s Day, they renewed their wedding vows as runners streamed by.


Shawna was shocked — she had no idea it was coming. Michael grew emotional, tears mingled with sweat as he repeated the vows he had said at their wedding the year before.

The Horvaths, of Toledo, Ohio, were among 34 couples who renewed their vows on the course as part of a promotion for the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” Two couples actually wed.

Brian and Marisol Salguero, high school sweethearts now in their mid-20s, said the race seemed the perfect place to tie the knot.

“We were already running it, it’s his birthday, it’s Valentine’s Day, so we figured, ‘Why not?’” said Marisol, who was wearing a veil and a pink tutu over her running shorts.


Brian said he and his new wife would stay with each other for the remaining 16-plus miles, even if one of them started slowing down.

Steve and Karen Engel of Chatham, N.Y., marked their 20th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to do it,” said Karen, 53.

The couple were flanked by their 16-year-old daughter, Amara. Steve, who has run the L.A. Marathon for 29 consecutive years, wiped his eyes during the ceremony.

Asked whether the moisture was sweat or tears, he replied, “Both.”

For some couples, the respite for love was brief — the course called.

Dressed in red T-shirts and black shorts, Loryan and Buck Jensen were both running the marathon. They requested a short ceremony so they could get back on the course.

The same-sex couple has been married for six months.


“Because I love him, and I needed a distraction from the race,” said Loryan, 27, when asked why he renewed his vows there.

As soon as Robert and Rosy Bliss of Westlake Village said a quick “I do,” Rosy jogged back onto Hollywood Boulevard.

“I gotta make my time,” she said over her shoulder.

Twitter: @cindychangla


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