RideLondon WEDDING: Pair break off 100 mile attempt to get married en-route

Cycling-mad couple made a bet to get married if both secured ballot places for charity sportive

by Sarah Barth   August 10, 2014  

RideLondon wedding.png

Most people hope it won’t rain on their wedding day but for one cycling-mad couple that didn’t seem to be an option. But it wasn’t to dampen the spirits of Gary Watson and Lisa Russell, who briefly broke off their Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 ride to get married this morning.

The pair made the plan when a friend joked that they should get hitched during the ride if they both gained a place in the 100-mile sportive.

When the couple from Raynes Park in south London heard that they’d both secured places through the ballot, they went ahead with the plan to get married en route.

They were pronounced husband and wife this morning at Richmond Park’s Pembroke Lodge and are beginning their new life together by cycling the rest of the way to The Mall.
 
“We like to have fun and this will certainly be a way to remember things,” said Lisa before setting off.
 Having first met while travelling around Australia in 1996, the pair are no strangers to racking up the miles on the bike, with Iceland and Norway just some of the places they have cycled through.

“It’s all a bit silly really, we were joking with our friends that we would get married while riding around London if we got a place,” said Lisa.

“And when we eventually got a place we were like, ‘ok this is happening now, we can’t go back.’

“I don’t really care about my hair being a mess on the day, I’m the sort of person who is happy with it up in a ponytail. It will be a case of doing it as quick as possible and then getting back on the bike and finishing the 100 mile challenge.

“I will be more nervous on the day about seeing our five-year-old daughter Betsy at the ceremony, waiting with our rings. I think our friends are going to meet up on Box Hill with some champagne.

“Knowing us we will finish and then just want to go to the pub with friends and family. We just like to have fun and this will certainly be a way to remember things.”

Graphic designer Gary and Lisa, assistant director and expedition leader at The Ultimate Travel Company, are not making it all about themselves either as they will also be riding to raise money in memory of their friend’s daughter Isla Cecil, who passed away aged 15 months in November 2012 from a rare brain tumour.

More than £5 million has been raised for the Isla Cecil Brighter Future Fund with Lisa, who herself has a long association with charity work, insisting it was an easy decision to raise money for such a cause.

“Isla passed away when she was just 15 months old, and since then her parents and family have been just an inspiration in the work they have been doing,” she added.

“They have taken her name and memory and made it into something positive and it is such a beautiful thing to see.

"We will be raising money from the event but it’s not just about raising money, it's also about raising awareness of the fund and the work that the guys are doing.”

7 user comments

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Well this is just lovely! Many congratulations and what sterling work you're doing for such a meaningful charity, bravo Smile

posted by condor_rider_1988 [31 posts]
10th August 2014 - 12:56

27 Likes

Lovely, that. Day Dreaming Party

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [316 posts]
10th August 2014 - 13:00

17 Likes

Yay! A happy story! Makes me smile in about 42 different ways. Congratulations and chapeaus for the happy couple.

posted by Argos74 [301 posts]
10th August 2014 - 13:15

17 Likes

What a great story. Congrats Gary and Lisa!

posted by dp24 [193 posts]
10th August 2014 - 13:43

16 Likes

Brilliantly down to earth about it all:

Quote:
“It will be a case of doing it as quick as possible and then getting back on the bike and finishing the 100 mile challenge..... Knowing us we will finish and then just want to go to the pub with friends and family."

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [593 posts]
10th August 2014 - 14:39

12 Likes

great story. All the best to them for the future.

posted by Beatnik69 [151 posts]
10th August 2014 - 16:37

9 Likes

What a brilliant story. Hope their friends went into the centre and not Box Hill!

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [933 posts]
10th August 2014 - 21:50

11 Likes