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Matt and Becky Baxter combine wedding with a park run at Shorne Woods

It sounds like something from a Carry On film, but for Matt and Becky Baxter there couldn’t be anything more natural than combining their marriage and their favourite parkrun.

Formerly Becky Robertson, the 38-year-old got the shock of her life in May when Matt dropped down on one knee as she limbered up for their usual Saturday run in Shorne Woods.

Becky and Matt run the course, with daughter Emily, 2, in the buggy. Picture Andy Payton

Becky and Matt run the course, with daughter Emily, 2, in the buggy. Picture: Andy Payton

'Vicar Jonathan Crowle cheers the runners on. Picture Andy Payton

'Vicar" Jonathan Crowle cheers the runners on. Picture: Andy Payton

They were married last Wednesday at Dartford’s register office with a couple of friends as witnesses, but while the ceremony may have been private and low-key, the celebrations were not.

They went back to parkrun at the weekend in bride and groom garb, to be greeted by a crowd in wedding fancy dress.

Becky said: “It was amazing. There were people we don’t really know who still got dressed up. The whole parkrun community got involved.

The runners get going. Picture Andy Payton

The runners get going. Picture: Andy Payton

People still made an effort to dress up. Picture Andy Payton

People still made an effort to dress up. Picture: Andy Payton

Fellow park runners at Shorne Woods Country Park. Picture Andy Payton

Fellow park runners at Shorne Woods Country Park. Picture: Andy Payton

“Organisers put pictures of me and Matt on the arrow markers. It was so funny. I couldn’t believe it when our friend Jo turned up as a wedding cake. And she still managed to run.”

The couple’s family and friends all went along. Becky’s father and stepmother walked their way around, and her mum, who has just had knee replacements, did two laps.

A freelance consultant, she added: “My 30-year-old brother who smokes 20 a day and never runs turned up and did the whole thing in 23 minutes. So infuriating, some people are just naturally better at it.”

Pete Granger gives an unlikely-sounding run briefing. Picture Andy Payton

Pete Granger gives an unlikely-sounding run briefing. Picture: Andy Payton

Dressed as a cake, Jo Hovenden, left, with Matt and Becky. Picture Andy Payton

Dressed as a cake, Jo Hovenden, left, with Matt and Becky. Picture: Andy Payton

The couple live in Darnley Road, Gravesend, with Becky’s son, Jack, Matt’s son, Ollie, and their daughter together, Emily.

They have been running at the site for a number of years and set up a junior parkrun on a Sunday in Gravesend, which their boys take part in.

Becky said: “I think I’m going to volunteer at parkrun for the next couple of weeks to say thank you. It was brilliant.”

There was a party at Nurstead Court, Meopham, on Saturday night for the real celebrations.

Amanda Graham, left, and Fay Oram. Picture Andy Payton

Amanda Graham, left, and Fay Oram. Picture: Andy Payton

Matt and Becky with children from left, Jack Roberston, 8, Emily Baxter, 2, and Oliver Baxter, 7. Picture Andy Payton

Matt and Becky with children from left, Jack Roberston, 8, Emily Baxter, 2, and Oliver Baxter, 7. Picture: Andy Payton

Before all that, the couple jumped straight on the Eurostar for a few days honeymoon in Paris, where they went on their third date.

Becky said: “I’d never been to Paris so Matt took me. I knew right then he was a keeper. It’s a beautiful city but it’s got a lot of lovely memories for us.

“Matt organised it all, so that was a surprise. He left a few red herrings to throw me off where we were going, open web pages to a hotel in Dublin and things.”

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