Runaway Bride? Couple runs 5K race in Taylor on wedding day

The family that runs together stays together?

Downriver natives Mike Campbell and Gina Martin of Las Vegas returned to the area to get married the evening of Saturday, July 10. But about eight hours earlier, they competed in the annual Rollie Hopgood Midtown Taylor 5K Run.

The couple signed up for the race months ago, knowing it would take place the morning of their wedding day.

“We both love running,” Martin said. “We thought it would be really unique to do this.”

“Some people go golfing on their wedding day or follow other traditions; we decided to go running,” Campbell said. “This was our last race as single people.”

Campbell, 28, ran track at Riverview High School. Martin, 27, was a standout soccer player at Woodhaven High and Eastern Michigan University.

Campbell moved to Las Vegas to serve as a police officer in the city. Martin joined him and is now a fifth-grade teacher at Givens Elementary School.

They continue running. Martin said they enjoy running half-marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks – “pretty much anything that rolls into Vegas.”

They’ve also inspired others. They said 10 friends and family members signed up to run the Taylor race with them – kind of like a race wedding party.

On Saturday, Campbell said he ran his personal best 5K time – 23 minutes and 3 seconds, which put him in first place among males 25 to 29. He received one of the unique bobble head trophies for his efforts – perhaps the first gift on his wedding day.

Brother of the bride Jason Martin finished second in the same age group.

Bride-to-be Gina Martin, whose personal best time is 23 minutes flat, ran wearing a veil and a sash. She also jogged with friend Angela Romanowski of Brownstown and, well, she didn’t do as well as she usually does.

“It’s my wedding day!” Martin said. “The sash is not airwick. The veil is not Nike day fit and was weighing me down.”

As Martin was in the last 50 yards of the 5K, she was joined on the track by Campbell, who accompanied her across the finish line as the race announcer made a crack about a “runaway bride.”

When they ran – and as they spoke after the race – Martin and Campbell were careful not to look at each other: keeping with tradition. There’s an ancient superstition that it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony.

Nina Martin, sister-in-law of the bride, noted that the happy couple wanted to get their wedding day started “on the right foot.”

Both the bride and groom said they would try to return to Taylor next year to run again on their first anniversary.

- Dave Gorgon

Groom-to-be Mike Campbell

Bride-to-be Gina Martin (with friend Angela Romanowski)

The crowd cheers as bride-to-be Gina Martin heads toward the line. Fiance Mike Campbell (in black) joined her for the last 50 yards or so.

The happy couple

Taylor, Michigan