The Wings for Life World Run Couple: Opposites Attract

Participants perform during the sixth edition of the Wings for Life World Run in Izmir, Turkey on May 5, 2019.

Cailin and Rian are a sporty married couple from Nashville. Over the next days, they’re letting us join them as they prepare for the Wings for Life World Run 2023. Here, they reveal how they’re working together to achieve their different goals.

This year's Wings for Life World Run is a particularly special one: It’s the tenth time that people around the world will run and walk for those who can’t. And for the first time, we’re able to join a couple, who couldn’t be any more different, as they prepare for the event. Cailin and Rian, our ‘Wings for Life World Run Couple’, will use our Facebook and Instagram pages to share how they train, recover, and gradually get fitter together over a total period of 100 days. Why? “There’s no better feeling than setting yourself a challenging goal – and achieving it,” says Rian.

“We hope to inspire other people to join us too.”

Individual goals

Cailin, 27, and Rian, 28, both love their exercise: she is a passionate jump roper; he is a dedicated endurance runner. They met at Martin Methodist College and have been married for five years.

On May 7, they will be taking part in their first Wings for Life World Run: “The format is perfect for us as a couple. We can train and take part together even though we do different kinds of sport and have different goals,” says Cailin. Her aim is to get 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) before being caught by the virtual Catcher Car.

Her husband Rian wants to run 29 kilometers (18 miles). He was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and moved to the USA after being awarded a soccer scholarship. He previously played semi-professional soccer, including for Canterbury United in New Zealand and Nashville SC. Now, he works in sales and marketing – and spends much of his working day at a desk: “When I’m not sitting in the office, I try to get some exercise outside and enjoy life.”

A love of exercise

Rian has been a fan of endurance running for the last two years. He’s completed three marathons, with his personal best – still – three hours and 13 minutes: “I’ve made it my aim for 2023 to complete the distance in under three hours. The Wings for Life World Run is a great opportunity to test my fitness while also enjoying fun experiences with people from all over the world.”

Cailin’s plan is to run 1,000 miles in 2023: “It’s first and foremost about my love of exercise. I feel so much better when I’m physically active. By committing to the Wings for Life World Run, I want to motivate as many people as possible to get active too and to support this great cause.”

Training partners

Cailin comments that she naturally won’t be able to keep up with Rian during his intensive training sessions “even though I was an avid cross-country runner in my youth. He’s simply too fast for me.” Despite this, the community engagement specialist is still looking forward to spending lots of time with her “husband and best friend” during their training: “We’ll both watch our diets and take care of the team that we’ll be joining on the start line of the Wings for Life World Run.” Cailin, who boosts her endurance daily with at least thirty minutes of rope jumping, says that they will also do strength training together: “And on recovery days, we can enjoy long walks together.”

No excuses

Cailin doesn’t want to accept any excuses on route to her goal: “We’re expecting some extreme weather conditions in Nashville over the next few weeks. But we won’t let the potential tornadoes and floods stop us. We’ve got a little home gym with indoor bikes and a treadmill for Rian.” Cailin also adds that there’s the shopping mall: “It’s a good alternative for if I’m ever unable to do my daily run outdoors.”

The couple are both excited about their Wings for Life World Run debut. As Cailin says though, the days until the start shouldn’t just be exhausting, but also enjoyable: “I find it helpful to have set myself a goal at the beginning of the process: I feel better when I see that I’m getting a step closer to this goal every day – and that I’m constantly getting physically fitter in doing so.”

You can see how the couple are getting on with their training by checking out their story every Thursday for the next weeks at and

Join the Wings for Life World Run Team of Cailin and Rian!