Runaway bride chased to the altar in race to celebrate her big day

Runaway bride chased to the altar in race to celebrate her big dayRunning fanatics Sarah Martin and Nick Charlesworth organised a fell race to incorporate the sport into their nuptialsThe bride was given a 20 minute head start before being chased by other participants over the hilly five-mile course'We get a buzz out of running so this seemed the perfect thing to do,' the bride explained
Following the race, the couple tied the knot at a nearby venue

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UPDATED:

13:13 GMT, 21 May 2012

The only dashing most brides do on their wedding day is to get to the church on time, but running fanatic Sarah Martin started her big day by competing in a fell race where she was chased to the altar by more than 100 runners.

The 31-year-old former kickboxing champ and her new husband Nick Charlesworth love fell running so much they decided to incorporate the sport into their nuptials.

With the help of their running club the Wharfedale Harriers, they staged a five-mile fell race in the Yorkshire Dales where participants had to chase the bride.

Chase the bride: Sarah Martin organised a fell race on the day of her wedding and her fellow running club members embraced the fun to take part in fancy dress

Chase the bride: Sarah Martin organised a fell race on the day of her wedding and her fellow running club members embraced the fun to take part in fancy dress

Project manager Sarah explained: 'We get a buzz out of running so this seemed the perfect thing to do.'

She added: 'A lot of people were worried that we might injure ourselves on the race but we know the route very well. It’s five miles long and the race takes you up 1,200 feet.'

The event was run as a bona fide competitive race, named the Charlesworth Chase, but to celebrate the wedding of Sarah and Nick, the 'chase the bride' element was added.

Catch me if you can: The bride was given a 20 minute head start in the race over the Yorkshire Dales and was caught up by runners including the groom, Nick Charlesworth

Catch me if you can: The bride was given a 20 minute head start in the race over the Yorkshire Dales and was caught up by runners including the groom, Nick Charlesworth

Catch me if you can: The bride was given a 20 minute head start in the race over the Yorkshire Dales and was caught up by runners including the groom, Nick Charlesworth

Run with us: It is hoped the Charlesworth Chase will become an annual event organised by Wharfedale Harriers, an off-road running club

Run with us: It is hoped the Charlesworth Chase will become an annual event organised by Wharfedale Harriers, an off-road running club

The bride-to-be was given a 20 minute start at 10.10am on Saturday morning from Appletreewick before a further 108 runners set off to try and catch her over the route which involved running 1,200 feet up to Simon's Seat and back.

Sarah teamed her wedding dress and veil with her club vest and trainers to complete the run while the groom, 46-year-old architect Nick, wore a dinner jacket, bow tie and top hat with shorts and fell running shoes.

'Crazy about fell running': Friends said competing on their wedding day was typical of the sporty couple

'Crazy about fell running': Friends said competing on their wedding day was typical of the sporty couple

Friend Lisa Holmes, 33, said she wasn't surprised when the couple from Leeds revealed they were incorporting running into their wedding day.

'It’s typical of Sarah and Nick – they are really crazy about fell running,' she said. 'They live, sleep and breathe it so they were always going to do something crazy when it came to their wedding.'

Sarah’s aunt, Heather Youngs, added: 'I couldn’t believe they were trying to do so much in one day but then she is a project manager so she has used her skills to organise something like this.'

Cheers: After their running endeavours, the couple joined their club mates for a celebratory drink

Cheers: After their running endeavours, the couple joined their club mates for a celebratory drink before heading off to tie the knot

The race was won by veteren Ian Holmes, 46, in just over 38 minutes. He and six other runners, including the groom, had overtaken the bride by the finish. In an additional twist, participants had to drink a pint or half a pint at a pub near the end of the course before crossing the finishing line.

After the run, the happy couple, who have been together eight years after meeting at work, had a shower and quick change to make it to their wedding ceremony at Craigmar in Skipton, followed by an evening reception at a hotel in Burnsall, North Yorks.

The Wharfedale Harriers hope to make the race an annual event, which will remain named the Charlesworth Chase in the newly-weds honour.

Not your average wedding day: Shortly after the race, the couple spruced up to become man and wife

Not your average wedding day: Shortly after the race, the couple spruced up to become man and wife

Not your average wedding day: Shortly after the race, the couple spruced up to become man and wife