THEY say love is a marathon not a sprint.
Well that’s certainly the case for keen runners David and Victoria Mckeown.
The athletes got together on the Cape Wrath Challenge (CWC) based
in Durness and what is more David proposed to his wife-to-be at just over the half- way point on the marathon!
A few weeks ago the couple from Scourie – where former Royal Marine David is health and safety manager for fish farmer Loch Duart Salmon – took their shortest, but most important of their journeys together... up the aisle when they tied the knot in Honiton in Devon.
Their love story has a long trail with some of the most spectacular scenery in the country involved.
David (43) and Victoria (37) had known each other for a few years and shared a passion for running.
Three years ago David coached Victoria – a project assistant for Rolls Royce at the decommissioning Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment at Dounreay – to run a marathon.
The next year the couple got together on the CWC.
"It was when we spent four-and-a-half hours together on the event that we realised it was time to take our relationship to the next level," said David.
"Then last year we entered as a two-person team for the marathon at the CWC.
I had made up my mind to propose to Victoria during the race, but the ring I ordered had not turned up in time.
"So I couldn’t wait another year for the race that meant so much to us. It just seemed the right place to do it. So I went to a local shop in Durness and bought a £2.50 ring. "I ran the first 15 miles and was to hand over to Victoria at the village hall to run the last 11 miles. Timing was everything. I had to go like the clappers.
"So at the hall I got down on my knee and asked her to marry me. Fortunately she said ‘yes’ and then went on running and we won the trophy for the first mixed team. Victoria has certainly given me a run for my money and made me a winner in so many ways. I’m very lucky.
"And what is more I’m now the convener of Durness Active Health, which organises the CWC. The event is very special – but it is especially special for Victoria and I."