While there is no shortage of amazing XTERRA couples out there, Jefferson and Kristen Nicholas – the race directors for the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series - have clearly been standing out in front of the crowd recently.
It all started last May when Jefferson got on one knee in front of a starting line filled with runners and popped the big question. The ceremony happened just last month, and as you might expect – it was a full-blown running-themed event.
To make things even sweeter, Competitor Magazine just named their XTERRA Seneca Creek 5k/10k Trail Races in Maryland (April 12) one of the “21 Must-Do Mid-Atlantic Races.” The magazine noted the race was home to the “Blair Witch Project” horror film “so leave the scaredy-cats at home and bring your camera for any potential witchy spottings.”
Stanley Lee caught up with Jefferson and Kristen to bring us their story…
It was only fitting for two runners who are adventure seekers to have a race-themed wedding.
For Jefferson and Kristen Nicholson, co-race directors of the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series, their wedding last month spoke of their affinity for running. A printed race results sheet showed guests their table assignments, race bib numbers were at tables, and the table runners had a subtle bicycle spoke design. The two are also co-owners of Adventure Geek Productions, a South Carolina-based race management company that puts on eight races including the Atlantic Series. Their race trailer had a chalkboard for guests to write wishes on with permanent markers. The trailer can be seen at their races where runners use chalk to write messages on.
“We tried to incorporate it (running) without it being tacky,” Jefferson said of their Jan. 11 wedding.
The two founded Adventure Geek in 2009 while they were members of Clemson University’s triathlon club. They put on one race then for the club’s fundraiser. The race director bug bit Jefferson and in 2010, they put on three races. They have eight races now with Jefferson at the frontline and Kristen, the “logistics magician,” working behind the scenes.
“We compliment each other,” Jefferson said. “She’s the quiet brain, behind the scenes, making sure everything is accomplished, making the list, checking it twice. I’m on the forefront, rallying the troops, recruiting and marketing. On race day, I’m the one giving instructions, managing the race. She does the check in, is the head timer, does timing and scoring for the race.”
The two share interests in all things adventure, from mountain biking to hunting to kayaking. Before races, they’ll run the course and mark the trail together, and even make race awards.
Before a race last May, Jefferson got on one knee at the starting line and proposed to Kristen. During pre-race introductions, he called her up to the starting line. She was reluctant at first. He thought maybe she had caught on to those emails he was sending to the race photographer, or the ones about the rings.
“I had no idea,” she said.
Their Colorado honeymoon was spent skiing, sledding, and snowmobiling, and now it’s time to start putting on races again. The XTERRA White Clay Creek half-marathon kicks off the Series on March 16 in Delaware.
Learn more and sign-up at www.adventuregeekproductions.com.