Race director marries extraordinary fellow competitor

Image copyright Amanda Macfarlane Image caption They were married in Spain on one of the highest peaks in the Algarve As professionals, race directors and competitors, the Bride and Groom are polar opposites. They…

Race director marries extraordinary fellow competitor

Image copyright Amanda Macfarlane Image caption They were married in Spain on one of the highest peaks in the Algarve

As professionals, race directors and competitors, the Bride and Groom are polar opposites.

They are polar opposites because while they are physically fit, crazy and occasionally reckless, they are not confined to the confines of the paths they traverse.

Image copyright Amanda Macfarlane Image caption Amanda and Joe let their appetite set them free

For Amanda Macfarlane, race director of the Aprilia United Nations Endurance Challenge – which is held annually around the Pacific Islands and takes in six continents – she and husband Joe, who competed in the race, wanted something unique to the race and set about getting married in the middle of the mountains.

Image copyright Amanda Macfarlane Image caption

Amanda and Joe said they were “idiots” and threw themselves into becoming crazy and risk-takers, even asking American TV personality Neil Patrick Harris to officiate their wedding – he turned them down but travelled to Spain to be their officiant.

Image copyright Amanda Macfarlane Image caption Neil Patrick Harris played the role of best man

For me, getting married didn’t mean to embrace my extremes. I’ve always thought that marriage is the thing that will bring you back to ordinary life.

But without getting too personal, my wife and I are about as incompatible as they come.

Image copyright Amanda Macfarlane Image caption Amanda Macfarlane racing the Ausirakurur in the 2017 Aprilia United Nations Endurance Challenge

When I first met her, I found her to be quite different from me in almost every way. Her taste in music and sport was considerably less stimulating than mine.

Image copyright Amanda Macfarlane Image caption Amanda Macfarlane and Joe before the race

But we met in great company, cycling. Our first date was at the Ausirakurur, at the seven point beach at the foot of Mount Taranga. The legendary Mt Taranga with its four glaciers, and seven of the most dangerous falls in the world, is the highest mountain in Portugal and the 35th highest in the world.

In the 2017 Aprilia United Nations Endurance Challenge, Amanda and Joe crossed Mt Taranga for the first time in their lives as well as Mt Naameh in Armenia, the highest mountain in South East Asia, and Mt Tereso in Peru.

Amanda discovered for herself how good it was to race against herself and not the clock. As an official, it’s not even possible for her to cycle fast, but as a competitor she was left wondering if she could challenge an adrenaline rush with sheer determination alone. And she could.

Amanda decided to use what she learnt at the race to improve her running technique. She is now the junior female athlete of the year in Scotland for a non-Commonwealth Games sport and is planning to run the K1 1000m for the Great Edinburgh Marathon in November.

Image copyright Amanda Macfarlane Image caption Joe and Amanda say their extreme lifestyle has made them stronger as a couple

Amanda is optimistic about the future and is sure that she and Joe will be spending the rest of their lives on this adventure together. I wish her all the best for that future.

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