Rebecca Weissman and Kevin Lind stand beneath a chuppah made by her stepfather and decorated by her friends
Rebecca Weissman and Kevin Lind stand beneath a chuppah made by her stepfather and decorated by her friends. (Photo/Bolin Photography)

In love, running friends take slow route to the finish line

In 2009, Rebecca Weissman was traveling alone by bus in a remote part of Ecuador. Only one other foreigner — who also happened to be from the Bay Area — was on the bus, and the two ended up traveling together. When they got home, Weissman joined her new friend’s running group, with the goal of doing a triathlon.

Shot from above, many friends and family stand in a heart-shaped ring around the couple
Guests form a heart around the happy couple. (Photo/Bolin Photography)

When Weissman, 34, of Oakland, started dating someone in the running group, Kevin Lind took notice.

Mostly because he had made a rule for himself: You don’t date someone in the group. Why? Because if it doesn’t go well, you have to keep seeing that person until the event you’re preparing for is over.

“I was strategic about it,” he said. “When I found out they were dating, I thought it was weird, that that’s not how you do it.”

Lind, 40, a software engineer for Adobe, is originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, and describes himself as shy. He had already made his friends in the group, and he tended to stick to those few people.

Weissman and the guy she was seeing lasted only a few dates, so she quickly learned the hard way why Lind’s rule was smart (not that she knew about it). But she couldn’t help herself when she noticed Lind’s big smile.

“She was really friendly and bubbly, and she came over and talked to me,” he said.

But while his interest was piqued, a rule was a rule, so for quite a while, Lind and Weissman got to know each other as friends. Until finally, with the race in sight, he asked her out.

The idea was to attend a yoga-for-runners class with lunch afterward and perhaps a bike ride. But Lind didn’t make it to yoga — he had been out the night before and was nursing a hangover (neither of them drink much, so this was really out of character for him). The bike ride didn’t happen either, but their lunch date was definitely the start of something.

Soon Weissman — born and raised in Oakland (she had her bat mitzvah at Temple Sinai) and now in her ninth year of teaching at Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland — was off to spend the summer in Madagascar. She stayed in touch with Lind, though, Skyping on her cellphone from her tent in a rainforest every evening.

And though Lind was the “polar opposite” of the guys she had dated in the past, she said, there was something about his Midwestern demeanor that was slowly winning her over.

“He was so thoughtful, and not arrogant at all,” she said.

It was confirmed for her that he was the one (and she told him this in her vows) when she came into her kitchen one morning to find him not only cleaning her sink, but getting the gunk out of the stopper as well.

A true test for both of them occurred when they traveled to Colombia together — Lind had only left the country a few times before and was not used to traveling independently — and after several years of dating, they moved in together in Berkeley.

Weissman observed that Lind was a slow mover when it came to relationships, and didn’t mind for the most part. But after five years in, she realized she was ready to get married.

She started sending him photos of rings she liked. And while he took his time, he knew he had better propose soon, or else she might beat him to it.

“She has this gentle way of pushing me to stretch myself, but not to any kind of crazy breaking point,” Lind said.

He proposed on a trip to Mount Lassen in November 2015. They married July 23, 2016, at a home belonging to running club friends in Pescadero.

They first signed their ketubah in a family-only ceremony inside the house, before marrying outside beneath a chuppah made by Weissman’s stepfather and decorated by friends with flowers and plants, giving it a “foresty” look.

The couple exchanged rings that they forged themselves. They included a Celtic hand-fasting ceremony to honor Lind’s partially Irish roots.

While they were in seclusion afterward, they watched from a window above while all their guests formed a giant heart for them to step into when they returned (their photographer was waiting to capture the moment, of course).

Weissman’s mother, a musician, wrote a waltz for the couple’s first dance, which she called “Mr. and Mrs. Lind of Berkeley.”

And while Weissman’s mother is Jewish born and raised, she has a love of Scottish dance, so that, too, was worked into the occasion.

Weissman’s mother and stepfather led the guests in a Scottish dance. Then everyone danced the hora.

Headshot of Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."