On Valentine’s Day, Pro Runners Show Off Their Valentines – Runner’s World

On Valentine’s Day, Pro Runners Show Off Their Valentines  Runner’s World

Courtesy of Jason Simpson

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Molly Huddle and Kurt Benninger

To prepare for the Olympic Marathon Trials coming up on February 29 in Atlanta, Molly Huddle has had to log serious mileage. Luckily, her husband, former Notre Dame middle distance runner Kurt Benninger, helps pace Huddle’s workouts and gives her water bottles—plus general moral support—from the bike during long runs. Talk about true love.

Sara and Ryan Hall

Sara and Ryan Hall met their freshman year in college at Stanford University in 2002. Ever since, the two distance runners have been inseparable—and also instrumental to each others careers.

After phenomenal career that included setting the American half marathon record, Ryan retired from running in 2016 and began coaching Sara. Today, the two work out together (or Ryan bikes alongside Sara) at their home in Flagstaff, Arizona, as Sara prepares for the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Emma Coburn and Joe Bosshard

Olympic steeplechaser and 2017 world champion Emma Coburn got the package deal with her husband, Joe Bosshard, who doubles as her coach. Bosshard also coaches a crew of other runners at their homebase in Boulder, Colorado, including Cory McGee, Aisha Praught-Leer, and Laura Thweatt.

Jenny and Jason Simpson

Not many non-elite runners can match three-time Olympian Jenny Simpson’s speed, but Jason Simpson is that rare unicorn. The graphic designer at Sketchfolio, who is now training for the Olympic Marathon Trials, often paces Jenny in 400-meter repeats.

“Jenny doesn’t think twice about dropping me if I’m struggling to keep the pace,” Jason said. “She’ll just blow by me. That’s when her competitive side kicks in.”

The two also compete with each other every year at the 5th Avenue Mile. Jenny has won the women’s race eight times, and this past year, her finishing time was the closest it’s ever been to Jason’s—he finished in 4:15.9, while she ran a course-record time of 4:16.1.

Ashley and Parker Stinson

Marathoner Parker Stinson and his middle-distance wife, Ashley, also known as “America’s fastest teacher,” take turns cheering on the sidelines for each other during workouts and races.

When Stinson was deciding whether to take a leap of faith and sign Dathan Ritzenhein as his remote coach for the Olympic Marathon Trials, he gained confidence watching Ashley’s progress on the track, he said in an Instagram post.

“I’ve been there for every workout…and it’s been amazing to watch her grow,” Stinson wrote. “Her journey gave me the courage to start my own and I’ll always be thankful for that.”

Nikki Hiltz and Therese Haiss

Nikki Hiltz and her girlfriend, Therese Haiss, are the ultimate teammates for life, having first bonded as college runners at Oregon and Arkansas before both became pro members of the Mission Athletics Club. In workouts, the milers complement each other’s strengths: Haiss will encourage Hiltz to go the extra mile for base runs, while Hiltz gives Haiss pep talks before challenging interval sessions.

Gwen Jorgensen and Patrick Lemieux

Patrick Lemieux’s Instagram bio pretty much sums it up: “The busiest guy you have ever met that doesn’t have a job. Chasing Gwen Jorgensen and Stanley.” Lemieux has been the sole member of Jorgensen’s pit crew since her days as a triathlete.

After winning the 2016 Olympic gold in triathlon, Jorgensen and Lemieux had a baby, Stanley, and she transitioned to running professionally full-time for the Bowerman Track Club. But even though she’s only focused on one sport now, Lemieux still has his hands full with cooking, cleaning, caring for Stanley, and providing a little comic relief for Jorgensen.

When Jorgensen was recovering from surgery last year, spending time with her husband and baby helped tremendously in coping with the injury.

“He [Stanley] doesn’t care that I’m injured,” she said. “He has no idea what’s going on. So just being able to go and play with him and spend some time with him was a huge thing that I relied on.”

Digital Editor Hailey first got hooked on running news as an intern with Running Times, and now she reports on elite runners and cyclists, feel-good stories, and training pieces for Runner’s World and Bicycling magazines.