Couple to carry kettlebells during marathon

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SAN DIEGO – Less than a month until the Rock-n-Roll Marathon and more than 20,000 people signed up to take on the 26.2 mile course through San Diego, an Oceanside couple plan to conquer the course in a unique way.

Mike French came up with the idea to carry a 53-pound kettlebell while he runs the marathon on June 2.

kettlebells“The first thing people ask when we tell them we are carrying a kettlebell for 26.2 miles is why? Why would you want to do that?” French said.

“He told me what he was doing and my first thought was that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” said Tami French, Mike’s wife.

But soon, Tami was in step with her husband carrying an 18-pound kettlebell.

They walk with the kettlebell on their shoulders, switching the bell from side-to-side periodically.

Each step they take, they will raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The couple said they plan to finish the marathon under eight hours and not surprisingly, they say they have never heard of anyone trying this before.

“Being together as long as we have. We’ve done pretty much everything together. We’ve grown up together. We’ve raised a family together. Why not carry a kettle bell in a marathon together?” Tami said.

Tami always walks in front of Mike.

“For me, psychologically, I don’t want to be behind him because that means he’s getting there first,” she said.

“And I get to watch her walk for 26 miles so it’s win-win,” he said.

The Oceanside couple said they started dating at age 13 in Sanford, Maine and grew up fitness fanatics – even winning the Teenage Mr. & Miss Maine Bodybuilding Competition in 1990.

Now, both 41 years old and both fitness professionals, the French family will celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary two weeks after the marathon.

They work out frequently with kettle bells in their home gym setting an example for their four children ages eight through 15.

“I think deep down inside, it’s a great thing for them to see and they really admire the fact that we try to stay fit and active and healthy so we can be around for them as long as possible,” said Tami. “I think it really inspires them, but I think they think we’re crazy.”