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Runner stories

Love on the run

Two runners with an arm around one another.

We have tips for couples who run together, gift recommendations, and more this Valentine’s Day.

What’s love got to do with it?

Love and running have more in common than you might expect. There are starts and stops, challenging terrain, and plenty of hard work. Sometimes people are even on the sidelines, rooting you on.

Two runners wearing dash 1/2 zips.

The biggest connection? Endorphins. These chemicals we produce in our brains can provide similar feelings of elation when we run and when we are in love. The “runner’s high” we experience after a great run offers up a sense of calm euphoria. When we are in happy, healthy relationships, our brains can give off endorphins that help us feel safe and reduce anxiety.

A match made in running

Building a lasting relationship is tough enough, but can you imagine training for and then running a marathon with your partner? Richard Ervais and Zander Ross have run 160 marathons together. That’s not a typo. The couple met in 2006 through International Front Runners, the global network LGBTQ+ running clubs, and married in 2016. Their love of running, and of each other, has taken them all over the world to races in Beirut, Rwanda, and even Antarctica.

Zander Ross and Richard Ervais at the finish line of the Everest Marathon
Zander Ross with his arms in the air.
Zander Ross giving a thumbs up on a run

Zander Ross (left in each photo) and Richard Ervais have run around 160 marathons together.

“Running together can be a lot of fun. But remember, not all runs have to be together. It’s ok if one is faster or slower than the other. We are that way. Richard likes to train, do track workouts, and have a goal to fight for. I don’t like that too much. I simply like to run,” Zander says.

When they do run as a couple, they agree that running together makes the miles pass quicker. It also gives Richard and Zander the chance to have deep conversations, chat about nothing, or simply enjoy the scenery.

“Running with your partner is a good opportunity to give each other support and advice that the other may need to hear,” Zander says.

Celebrate love

If you want to level up the love for the runner in your life, add an experience to your gift giving this Valentine’s Day. Plan a scenic run in a new place, book a couple’s massage if it’s safe to do so, or take a virtual cooking class together.

Sweet gear is always a thoughtful option, too. Check out these Valentine’s Day gift ideas for the runner in your life.

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Spread of new spring 2021 apparel and shoes

Bottom line? Run like you love — often, with your whole heart, and happy.