A hard push up the coast to reach the wedding bells in time

This week saw the marriage of two of my best friends, set against a beautiful backdrop of rice paddies and to the stunning musical talents of Rudy Botes on the cello. Jojo and Malcolm only surprised us last week with the news of their engagement, which was made even more of a surprise when we received a message this Thursday just gone, telling us they were getting married in Sokcho at the weekend. Everyone raced to get preparations underway for the most intimate and personal of weddings I’ve ever been to. I had a different race to prepare for…making the 130km (give or take) journey up north to make it in time for the wedding.

My light snack stop on route.
My light snack stop on route.

I got off to a pretty average start, having only 4 hours sleep the night before and leaving it pretty late setting off at 9.15 the Saturday morning. I had to borrow a bike this week from the legendary Riaan Bam as my bike was ‘sick’ (in the words of the eccentric ‘bicycle genius’, who owns the bike shop a few doors down from me). A late start meant I had to put in a shift on the pedals to get to Sokcho in time for a 5pm start. I hit the hills hard and after a 15 minute break halfway to get some much needed calories down me, I reached Sokcho in a respectable time of 5 hours 45.

Our minister for the day was a little late as he was busy rehearsing his lines.
Our minister for the day was a little late as he was busy rehearsing his lines.

The wedding was one of my favourite weddings I’ve ever been to. Considering the short length of time to prepare, everything went beautifully. Pastor for the day was a man who only gets better looking with age, the recently ordained, David ‘Oh My Days’ Firth (who used a bit of inspiration from Joey off ‘Friends’ by getting ordained over the internet so he could deliver the wedding). I had the unexpected honour bestowed on me last minute, of walking the beautiful bride to be down the isle. Surrounded by candles and the setting sun, Mr Firth delivered a fantastically, all be it slightly modified, version of the vows (for richer for poorer replaced with ‘when they are old and smell’). After the ceremony and endless pictures with the amazing couple, we left for a restaurant to celebrate the marriage in style. JoJo and Malcolm met each other two years ago when they first came to Korea. 2 years later and with some fantastic memories shared, they are starting a new chapter in their lives together. Watching them grow over the years together has been something special and I know they are going to share very long and happy lives together.

I had the honour of walking beautiful Jo Jo down the aisle.
I had the honour of walking beautiful Jo Jo down the aisle.

There’s only a month to go now before I set off for the start of this challenge and this month is going to be the busiest one yet. There’s so much to organise between now and then and the small matter of keeping that donation target pushing higher. It’s been a difficult week emotionally and physically for me for various personal reasons, but I’ve just had to get on with things and push through. There will be a video coming out this week to hopefully drum up more sponsorship, so keep your eye on this space and please share away. The only thing left to say is a massive congratulations to the happy couple and I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world.

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