Wed at Wheeler: Breck Epic mountain bikers tie the knot while racing through Tenmile Range
BRECKENRIDGE — Along with the blood and sweat customary with the Breck Epic’s rugged Wheeler stage, there also were happy tears Thursday on Wheeler Pass. They came thanks to Scott Williams and Jessica Nelson.
Under pristine bluebird skies at 12,408 feet, the pair of Breck Epic mountain bikers hopped off their saddles and pulled out written vows. As a fellow mountain biker officiated, the couple were wed at Wheeler.
“Dearly bewildered,” the wedding officiant said as friends of the couple gathered around, “we are gathered here today at this very inconvenient location, but a pretty spectacular place to be — somewhere between the start line and the finish line of the Breck Epic. It’s been a long week here. Six days of blood, shredding, smiling and hacking, joy, pain, sunshine, rain. Here we go.”
As other Breck Epic racers hiked their mountain bikes around the switchbacks above 12,000 feet, the singlespeed riders Williams and Nelson came together to exchange their vows. Smiling despite the 5 1/2 days and 20-plus hours of mountain biking behind them, the couple had their moment at a place special to them.
“As we look to the future growing together,” Williams told Nelson, “I promise to continue to be a better partner through our journey. I promise to stand by your side, to respect and cherish each other through everything life has in store for us. We bring our strengths and our weaknesses to this marriage, and we stand together as one. We are a team.”
“You are the most honest person I’ve ever met,” a tearful Nelson told Williams. “… This quality reinforces the level of trust we’ve built, and I know that I can always count on you.”
After the couple embraced for the first time as newlyweds, friends and strangers cheered and mountain bikers continued to race behind them.
“That was special,” a friend shouted out from the crowd.
“Big group hug,” he said as he descended on the couple. “Everybody in!”
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