This week, in honor of Valentine's Day, I've been featuring a series of short love stories -- as told by a local runner whose relationship was forged on the asphalt.
Closing us out is LANA TORKILDSEN, 43, of Matthews:
"I moved to Charlotte in 2001 for personal reasons and tried to establish myself in the Charlotte running community. I met Tom at a running club a couple of months later. At the time, I was already involved in a relationship, but was glad to meet other runners through his connections. For a couple of years, I would see Tom in various races and chatted with him from time to time, but my most memorable moment was when he would race by me in his purple tights. I knew he raced every weekend and thought he was insane.Lana Torkildsen is the current president of the Charlotte Track and Triathlon Club.
We fast forward to the day before the Turkey Trot in 2003. I saw Tom again at the expo and started chatting with him again. We were both single at the time, and our friendship was merely platonic. I was surprised when he asked me out after the Turkey Trot, so we went on our first date on Nov. 29, 2003. Cupid’s arrow hit its mark on this date, and we were inseparable. He proposed to me the following month on New Year’s Eve.
We were lucky to find a place to hold our wedding on Valentine’s Day in 2004. When we were planning the wedding, we decided not to get too extravagant -- and being untraditional individuals, we wanted to do something different. So we had a 2.2-mile fun run/walk at Francis Beatty Ford Park, with the ceremony and breakfast reception held afterward. We had T-shirts made up with the logo “I Do 2.2” with our pictures on them, to give to our wedding guests. In fact, we normally wear these T-shirts during the Cupid’s Cup race -- which we will both be running on Saturday.
This Sunday, Valentine's Day, will mark our six-year wedding anniversary!!"