We at Run The Edge thrive on creating a community where people find meaningful connections, genuine support, and lifelong friendships. Sometimes we are so successful at this that we allow ourselves to take full credit for being matchmakers. We would like to congratulate ourselves and take full responsibility for at least two engagements that have come about through our amazing Run The Year community. Congratulations, Kevin and Krystal! You are the latest couple to have been serendipitously united by Run The Year, and we are honored to share your story.
Kevin of Mount Pleasant, Michigan and Krystal of Pleasant Valley, New York both came onto the scene of RTY in its early days, each completing the 2015 challenge. They joined the Facebook groups and had become familiar with each other through posts, likes, and occasional photos by the end of the year. Krystal had originally joined the Run The Year challenge because she lacked local running friends, and ended up forming close bonds with a few women in the Facebook group in 2015 and 2016. They teamed up with a few other RTY members to run a Ragnar in Tennessee the following spring. Kevin also joined their Ragnar group as he and Krystal interacted more frequently throughout 2016.
The spring of 2017, Kevin and Krystal met in person for the first time when they rode in the same vehicle during the Ragnar. Krystal says, “My family thought I was crazy going to a different state to meet eleven strangers. But it felt like we had been friends forever!” The support that Krystal had felt from these people online definitely carried through in person. She took a wrong turn during her last leg of the race, which was just before Kevin’s, and worried that her competitive teammate might be disappointed in her for slowing down. To her surprise, Kevin was extremely supportive, hugged her, and told her what a great job she had done despite her distress. This interaction set the tone for how the two would communicate in the years to come.
Kevin and Krystal kept in touch after the Ragnar, and by 2018 they were talking every day. They ran a few more races together in that year, including the Stockade-A-thon 15k in November in Schenectady, NY that Krystal had planned on running solo. Kevin sent her his registration and plane tickets shortly before coming out, and she was thrilled. They discovered that they loved running together and had a great rapport between them. It was during the weekend of the Stockade-A-thon 15k that Kevin realized he liked Krystal as “more than a friend,” and had no idea what to do about it. After Kevin’s departure, Krystal felt sad but couldn’t identify why. She realized eventually that she had developed reciprocal feelings for Kevin despite herself, and was in denial because they lived so far apart. Kevin, sensing her distance, decided to put everything on the line and tell her how he felt about her. Kevin tells us, “I sent a long text and then I was a nervous wreck.”
Krystal was hesitant at first, but admitted that she felt the same way about him. She voiced her concerns about the distance, and Kevin assured her he could see her once a month. She suggested that they wait to see how they felt about each other when they ran another race together in December. As you can probably discern for yourself, the race weekend in December went exceedingly well. “He kissed me for the first time,” says Krystal, “and I knew it was good.” The two quickly fell in love and decided to pursue a relationship as of this past New Year’s Eve.
Since then, they have become closer and handled the distance between them gracefully throughout 2019. True to his word, Kevin made the twelve-hour drive to New York many times to spend a weekend with her, and she has she flown out to see him in Michigan. Their children have all met and their families blend extremely well together. Krystal says that even before she and Kevin had “officially” started dating, her eldest son, who had met Kevin when he ran the Stockade-A-Thon 15k, told her “it would be okay if you and Kevin wanted to be more than friends.” It was with the support of their children that they embarked on a long distance relationship.
Though she had gently spurned Kevin’s initial suggestion of marriage, Krystal was ecstatic when he did propose. “He picked me up from the airport, but he was late, which was really weird for him,” says Krystal. According to Kevin, “ I wanted to beat her to the airport, but her flight was half an hour early!” Flustered and well-dressed, Kevin collected Krystal from the baggage claim area and frantically searched for an airport employee to film the special moment he had planned. Finally locating one, he told Krystal he wanted to ask the employee if the elevator they were about to get on was the correct one to go to the parking garage. It is worth noting that the airport has exactly one elevator, and Krystal had been there several times before. Kevin confesses that he was flustered at the time and even admits to his elevator excuse being “lame,” because what he actually wanted to do was ask the employee to record the special moment that was about to take place.
From Krystal’s perspective, Kevin was “acting weird,” and she was equally thrown off. “[Kevin] said something about the elevators and then went to talk to an airport employee. I saw the guy get down on a knee, to film I guess, but I didn’t know it, and then Kevin got down and I just wondered ‘ what is happening? should I get down too?’ I was caught so off-guard!” Though she had suspected a proposal was imminent at some point, she was still surprised and overjoyed. Her previous apprehension evaporated and made way for excitement.
To hear them talk about each other is to witness undiluted love and respect. Kevin’s favorite thing about Krystal is “the way she makes me feel without even trying. She doesn’t even realize that what she’s doing or what she’s saying to make me feel amazing.” What Krystal loves about Kevin is that he is very thoughtful, puts everyone before himself. “I love his sense of humor,” she says, “he’s funny. He dispells my anxiety, we have no secrets, I love that I can trust him, and he is very supportive and reliable.” We can hardly contain our joy for Kevin and Krystal! We are so happy that you two found each other and are prepared to take full responsibility for your happy union. You’re welcome! Just kidding, we would actually like to thank YOU for being two awesome members of our community since the early days of this challenge.
The couple is planning on marrying on February 14th, 2021. They are looking forward to combining their two incredible families and starting their future together!