Marathon marriage: Couple weds half-way to finish line in Detroit

DETROIT (WLS) -- A couple got married half through the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon. Whitney Black and Steven Phillips started the marathon engaged and sealed the deal halfway to the finish line.

It is the only international marathon in the United States where runners cross the U.S.-Canadian border during the 26.2-mile run.

What is more amazing is that Whitney was told that she may never be able to walk down the aisle, let alone run. She was seriously injured in an accident over 10 years ago and then hit by a car while running 18 months ago.

"Twenty-one surgeries in total, (Whitney) was told she may never walk again," Whitney's brother, McCann Black, told news station WXYZ in Detroit. "I'm just so proud of her, watching her set these goals and then blow through them has helped our family a great deal."

Friends and family waited near the 13.1 mile marker with balloons, a veil, rings and an officiant until Whitney and Steven ran up to the makeshift altar.

"I promise to trust you even when we deviate from our grocery list," Whitney vowed.

"I will choose you every day, not because I have to, but because I want to," Phillips said.

Their vows were short and sweet. The ceremony lasted about five or six minutes. The couple said getting married in the midst of their first marathon was a perfect setting for their relationship.

"We challenge each other to do better in every way," Whitney said. Then she toasted her new husband with a shot of Gatorade and the two rejoined the race.

Steven Phillips has had quite a journey of his own, losing around 100 pounds.

The couple crossed the finish line as husband and wife, committed to staying by each other's side for the long run.

"To see my baby sister getting married, it's a lot to take in, but I'm just so happy for her," McCann said.
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