Marathon Love Couple Hits 25K Mile Mark
Crossing the finish line took only seconds. Reaching this point took 25 years. After competing in more than 270 races, Lansing, IL, Letter Carrier Jamie Parks and his wife Lynn have crossed the finish line into the record books. On July 11, they celebrated 25 years of running together. The couple, who run up to 40 miles per week, also logged their 25,000th-mile — the equivalent of circling the Earth and possibly setting a Guinness world record.
The true heroes of running
Jamie, a 35-year USPS veteran, and Lynn have been together since 1985. Months before their wedding, Lynn suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. The injury limited her ability to walk and speak. The wedding was put on hold. A grueling regime of physical rehabilitation followed. Years later, when Lynn fulfilled her goal of walking down the aisle, she and Jamie married.
Inspired by Lynn’s determination, Jamie, an avid runner, decided they should enter a race. In 1991, he pushed his wife in a wheelchair during a 10K. They’ve been running together ever since, completing marathons in Chicago, Boston and Toronto, often with their 17-year-old daughter, Annalyn.
A story in Runnersworld.com listed some of their achievements including, in 2002 they carried Olympic torches; in 2007 they were featured as Runner’s World Heroes of Running; and in 2008 they ran a 2:57 personal best at the Boston Marathon.
The couple’s inspiring odyssey gained a national audience in 2008 when the Discovery Health Channel aired the documentary “Marathon Love.” Viewers saw their story which includes home videos of Lynn’s arduous recovery, their wedding, and the fulfillment of running in the Boston Marathon.
As Jamie and Lynn began the mile jog to achieve 25 years of running together, Jamie started the run like he does with every jog, saying a spoken prayer and thanking God for this opportunity. “My wife is the hero,” said Jamie, “Without her I’m just a mailman who runs.”