She’ll be wearing a white tennis skirt with a veil on her head and he’ll be wearing shorts and a Tuxedo T-shirt.
About 150 guests have been invited to attend their wedding next weekend, but Geralyn Hoffman and Larry Ducady aren’t planning on getting too dressed up for their big day.
After all, running a race wearing a full tuxedo or a wedding gown isn’t exactly comfortable. Neither is dress shoes or heels.
Before embarking on what hopefully will be a long journey together, Hoffman and Ducady will embark on another long journey before exchanging their wedding vows. Roughly five hours before saying those all-important words – “I do!” – the Cumberland couple with join more than 1,000 participants in Newport on Sunday for the annual Amica Marathon.
After collecting their medals at the finish line near Easton Beach, Hoffman and Ducady will take a short breather and then make their way down to the beach where family and friends will await the tired couple for a seaside wedding ceremony.
“I guess in May we decided to do it,” Hoffman said. “We were already signed up for the race and figured, “Hey, why don’t we get married at the end of the race?’ It just seemed fitting.”
The idea of running the 26.2-mile dis-
tance is two-fold for the avid runners. Besides taking part in an activity that they enjoy doing together, Ducady and Hoffman will be among several runners and walkers at the event that compete for Team in Training — an organization that has its participants raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in lieu of coaching and training for the endurance event. The pair receives coaching expertise from former St. Raphael Academy and current Bishop Hendricken coach Jim Doyle, who has been involved with Team in Training for a number of years.
Hoffman and Ducady got involved with Team in Training last year. Both runners have friends that have been affected by the disease.
“It’s just something that is close to our heart,” Ducady said.
A runner for the past seven years where he has competed in numerous road races and has also taken part in snowshoe and trail running, the 35-year-old Ducady encouraged his future bride to venture into the sport when the two met each other a few years ago through a social organization known as Providence Collective. A novice at the time, Hoffman was soon hooked.
Now it’s a normal part of their lifestyle and another thing that the pair often enjoy together.
“We run because we have a good time with it,” Ducady said. “It’s something we like to do together and we enjoy the challenge. It’s just a common goal. We have a great time together. We are not speedsters and don’t plan to be anytime soon. Running is a great release for us. We have a lot of other things going on, too.”
The marathon will be the third for Hoffman and the second for Ducady. The two ran their inaugural marathon together back in June of 2010 when they competed in the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. That was a race the couple also ran for Team in Training and raised $5,000 for the cause.
Back in May at the Cox Rhode Races, another Team in Training event, Hoffman competed in the Cox Sports Marathon and Ducady participated in the Eident Half Marathon.
The couple has raised a few thousand dollars in their most recent endeavor. That total could increase substantially on their wedding day. Instead of accepting gifts, the Cumberland pair has asked guests to donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“We are very fortunate,” said Ducady, who works as a chemist at Abbott Laboratories in Worcester. Hoffman is employed by Brown University as the Curator of Programs and Education at the Haffenreffer Museum. “We don’t need anything. We thought it was more important to give to a cause that’s worthy.”
In the past, Hoffman and Ducady have often gone their separate ways when the gun is fired. At the Amica Marathon, neither intends to leave the other’s side. The plan of action is also set once they finish.
The two predict they will complete the scenic course in about five hours.
“This race we will run together, side by side the whole way,” Ducady said. “We are planning to start the marathon just like everybody else; run just like any other marathon. Once we finish, we’ll take a little break, walk to the beach and have a little ceremony.”
After the wedding, the couple will enjoy a reception at the Fenner Hall Club in Newport. Their attire will be slightly different when they greet their guests.
“We’ll get dressed up for the reception,” Ducady promised. “We’ll change into a little more formal wear.”
A marathon is a long way and a lot can happen from Point A to Point B. Both are confident they’ll withstand the distance without injury and make it to their wedding on time.
“If one of us gets injured, we just don’t get married,” Ducady joked. “There’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ in everything. We are not worried about not finishing.”
Besides, says Hoffman, who will celebrate her 33rd birthday two days before the race, “We are not really fast enough to get the kind of injuries when you push it. We are pacing ourselves. We are definitely getting to the finish line. We are definitely getting married either way.”