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Along with 12 of their wedding guests, New York couple Katherine Rosenberg, 34, and John Stolz, 39, will race Saturday’s TriRock Philadelphia the morning of their wedding, which will take place about 600 yards from the course’s swim start.
The couple met two years ago during a Ragnar Relay in Miami when Rosenberg filled in to be a part of the 12-person team. Many of the friends who were responsible for them meeting will be the ones racing the sprint triathlon before their ceremony.
“Our paths wouldn’t have crossed if I hadn’t, for whatever reason, gotten into running and triathlon,” Stolz says. Throughout his 20s and early 30s, Stolz smoked over a pack a day of cigarettes and was a frequent bar-goer in New York City. One day he (somewhat naively) decided he wanted to do a triathlon. He started by running his first mile at age 33. “I can remember turning to my friend in the gym and saying, ‘One of these days I would like to do a mile on this treadmill in 10 minutes.’” Since then, he has completed multiple marathons and triathlons, including two Ironman races.
Alternatively, Rosenberg grew up a competitive soccer and lacrosse athlete and had run multiple marathons before meeting Stolz. Even though her first triathlon was just this past May, she was the one who instigated the idea to race on her wedding day. “I was looking for something that looked like us,” Rosenberg says of the decision. “I wanted something meaningful for me and John to do.”
Together the couple has raced in Costa Rica, Minnesota and New York. And after they tie the knot in front of 180 of their closest friends and family, they’ll keep the adventure going with a six-day summit up Mt. Kilimanjaro.