MCM Features

In the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) community, sometimes a shared loveGault_3_MCM_Feature for fitness leads two people down the road to happily ever after. 

This story starts in the aptly-named small town of Hartville, Ohio. Heather Gault had never been a serious runner. After the birth of her second child, Gault made acommitment to running as a way to better her health and general well-being.     

In 2011, she joined a local running group, completing her first half and then full marathon. Elated about completing her first marathon, Gault soon made the commitment to run the MCM with Team Racing for Veterans. 

Bitten by the running bug, Gault had no idea she would soon be struck by Cupid’s arrow. Enter our hero, David Smith. 

The free-spirit from Canton, Ohio, joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1990 as an aviation ordinance technician. After completing his military service, Smith took a break from the fitness requirements consistent with being a Marine.  He later made running a marathon a goal and knew only one would satisfy him - the Marine Corps Marathon. 


While visiting his best friend, the conversation turned toward running a marathon

and the two committed to the 2014 MCM. 

Little did Smith know Cupid was already working a plan putting him on a path right to Gault.

As the heroine trained dutifully for the MCM, injury struck; she must have knee surgery. During her recovery, while scrolling through the Team Racing for Veterans Facebook page, she noticed a photo of a woman wearing an Ohio State sweatshirt and began a conversation with her.

“She was from Ohio and lived seven miles me,” explained Gault.  “She was training for the 2014 MCM with her husband and two of his friends, one who had been a Marine. After a few months, she asked me to do a long run with them.” 

The scene was now set. Remember that former Marine with an MCM goal? His best friend just happened to be married to the woman in the Ohio State sweatshirt… 

“I showed up to that long run and Dave was there. He was cute,” said Gault.Gault_4_MCM_Feature

Smith is similarly smitten. 

“I remember when Heather got out of the car,” he said. “The first thing I thought was she has really great hair.” 

The arrow leaves the bow. The group sets out on a long run. 

“For four miles, I wondered about his story,” said Gault. 

“I was trying to hear what the ladies were saying so I could get some background without being too pushy,” admitted Smith. 

Later that day Gault says the two became Facebook friends. By the end of the week they had run together twice. Two weeks after the original meeting, the couple went on their first official date. That October, the pair completed the entire 26.2 mile MCM together, crossing the finish line in 6:12:37. 


Cupid had succeeded. Smith and Gault knew they had found happily ever after. Smith proposed just six months after their first meeting at the very spot they shared their first kiss.  

“There are so many things that came together for us,” said Gault.  “Between the fact that 2014 was going to be MCM for both of us, Dave’s friend’s wife raising money for the same charity as me, my injury and finding her…” 

As the couple began planning their destination wedding, Cupid once again interceded. 

“The venue was booked on the date of our first choice,” said Gault, “so we scheduled our wedding for June 3rd.” 

Happily ever after just happens to fall on National Running Day. 

“We had no idea when we scheduled our wedding it was National Running Day,” said Gault. “It’s just another moment of serendipity that keeps us smiling and laughing.” 

The couple plans to return to the 40th MCM in 2015, this time as husband and wife.

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