This Valentine’s Day, love is in the air! What better time to celebrate the saying, “Couples who run together, stay together!”  

Jen and Monterry are Geist Half Marathon Series ambassadors and husband and wife runners. They shared their first date on the Monon during the summer of 2008, and it sparked a true connection for running and their relationship.  

“The first time we were on the Monon, we weren’t planning on staying out that long. Then the sun went down, and you’re not supposed to be out there after dark. We ended up having to call someone to come and get us! My advice is to just enjoy the walk or run and have good conversations!” said Jen. 

When it comes to running with your partner, Monterry expresses that you need to start slow, be compassionate, and really figure out your partner’s energy. Being able to support one another is important in the beginning stages of training.  

jen and monterry townsend celebrating a race

Being your partner’s biggest fan and cheering them on is a simple way to keep them motivated during a race and training. Jen describes her training sessions as strenuous and difficult at times, but with Monterry’s words of encouragement, she is able to stay motivated. He is always on her mind, which makes training a little bit easier.  

Monterry mentions, “We normally have our hearts and mindsets as if we are running together, but she normally runs with the group, and I run by myself to clear my head.

The couple’s shared passion for running has taken them to places like Berlin and London for races. They are on a mission to do a race in all 50 states, so the journey is just beginning.  

jen and monterry townsend

For couples who haven’t started running together but want to give it a try, Jen has a simple piece of advice: begin slowly, starting with a mile then increase the distance over time. She believes the most important part is being each other’s cheerleaders. From their first date on the Monon to their races across the globe, Jen and Monterry will always be there to support and encourage each other! 

jen and monterry townsend
jen and monterry townsend

Want some inspiration for training? Registration for the Geist Half Marathon, 10K and 5K and the Spark!Fishers 5K presented by IU Health Fishers is now open! Register for one race and score a $5 off promo code for the other. These family-friendly events return on Wednesday, June 26 and Saturday, September 14. All participants receive a race shirt and finisher medal. Register at and