MOST brides face a race on the day of their wedding to make sure they arrive at the altar in good time.
But Helen Critchley — now Mrs Bury — took this literally by competing in a 5km run on the morning of her wedding.
The 30-year-old takes part in the Park Run at Leverhulme Park every Saturday at 9am and refused to make an exception on her big day.
The race, which she completed in 25 minutes and two seconds, left her with just one hour to shower, do her hair and make-up, and change into her dress, ready for her marriage to fiance 36-year-old Brett Bury at Mere Hall Register Office.
She said: “I had to be there for 11.15am and I was only a couple of minutes late. I made it, just.
“My aunty did convince me not to wait for the last two members of my running party to finish. They made me go home to get ready and it’s probably lucky I did.”
The bride and bridegroom then held a festival-themed reception for 100 guests — in their own back garden in Garstang Avenue, Breightmet.
The couple hold their own “Gardenbury” party every year to coincide with Mrs Bury’s birthday and the Glastonbury festival — and this year the bash also acted as their wedding reception.
Mrs Bury said: “It even stopped raining just in time for my guests arriving — it was perfect.
“This year, with it being my 30th and the wedding, everybody had to come. It was brilliant.
“A lot of good friends and family helped out enormously. They are all just as mad as I am.”
The pair met at work at the Vauxhall dealership in Manchester Road, Bolton, where Mrs Bury worked in accounts and her husband in the body shop.
They first got together on a night out in Bolton, 13 years ago.
They are delaying their honeymoon, camping in Tenby, so they can take sons seven-year-old son Cole and Mason, aged six, with them.
And Mrs Bury’s sporting exploits will not stop, now she is married.
She and her new husband will compete in a Tough Mudder race in September, while Mrs Bury will run in the Chester Marathon in October.