CHICAGO — Brian and Tracy Nach have a running joke with their three kids about the first time they met.
"We always say I chased him for six miles," Tracy Nach said. "And it's actually technically true."
In May 2000, the Nachs participated in a six-mile fun run hosted by Lincoln Square running store Fleet Feet Chicago. After their run — Tracy trailed Brian the whole way — the two hung out at a local bar with other fun runners.
"We reached for tortilla chips at the same time, and it was instant fireworks," said Tracy Nach, a teacher at Lincoln Elementary.
The Nachs were married on Aug. 3, 2002 at St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Lincoln Park and had their reception at a Downtown hotel. But before they partied with family and friends, they first headed north to the Lincoln Square Fleet Feet for a quick photo in their wedding attire.
"Fleet Feet was such a part of who we were as a couple," said Brian Nach, an attorney.
The Nachs, of Portage Park, are one of 21 couples who have married after first meeting their spouse at a Fleet Feet run. The runs began nearly 20 years ago, said Fleet Feet owner Dave Zimmer, who has stores now in Old Town, Lakeview, South Loop and two others in the suburbs.
Zimmer said of those 21 couples, 80 percent are still married.
"We're beating the national average," Zimmer said, laughing. "When people are like minded and like doing things like running in a safe, fun environment, good things can come out of that."
Fleet Feet's Lincoln Square store, 4762 N. Lincoln Ave., is hosting a Cupid's Dash at 9 a.m. Sunday. The Cupid's Dash will divide participants into groups of people who are in a committed relationship, singles and "it's complicated," Zimmer said.
The Nachs, who now have three children — Oscar, 11; Olivia, 10; and Everett, 7 — said running has been a huge part of their relationship. They've run together on vacations to Greece, Disney World, Arizona, Texas and Las Vegas.
And Tracy Nach has advice for folks looking to find "The One" at Sunday's Cupid's Dash: Make sure you actually like to run.
"If you meet someone through running, you need to like running," she said. "Running makes you feel good about yourself, and that type of happiness attracts other people, whether it's love or friendship. That's a great kind of person to meet."
For more information on fun runs, click here.
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