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Ways running can spice up your love life this Valentine's Day

February 01, 2017 | Times Free Press article online | Article.pdf

Runners race past the finish line at Nashville's Cupid's Chase 5k. Chattanooga will again host its version on Feb. 11.

Runners race past the finish line at Nashville’s Cupid’s Chase 5k. Chattanooga will again host its version on Feb. 11.

Kalie Feigenson found love not at a club nor at a bar, but at a race. “I had no intentions of going to meet anyone, let alone find love,” the 29-year-old remembers. “It was frigid, and 7:00 in the morning!”

But on that freezing February morning, Feigenson wasn’t at just any race; she was at the Cupid’s Chase in Princeton, New Jersey.

Each year, runners in more than 30 cities across nine states participate in the pre-Valentine’s Day 5k/10k, hosted by national nonprofit Community Options Inc. The event raises money to help provide housing and employment support to people with disabilities while helping single runners make a love connection.

To help spark that connection, each racer is outfitted with a shirt that reads “Available” or “Unavailable” on the back. The method, though simple, is quite effective. Just ask Feigenson.

When she first laid eyes on Marc Chianese, a chiropractor helping runners stretch before and after the race, she was smitten.

“I suddenly felt butterflies in my stomach and thought to myself, ‘He is handsome!'” she says.

So she did what any rational woman would do — she avoided him at all costs. But it was too late. The doctor had already seen her “Available” shirt, he had already seen her shy smile, and before Feigenson knew what was happening, he was scribbling his phone number onto the back of his business card and handing it to her.

“From there on, our relationship quickly blossomed. We fell in love, and our connection only grew, and continues to grow,” she says.

That’s exactly what race organizers at Chattanooga’s branch of Community Options hope will happen for more single runners at the local Cupid’s Chase Saturday, Feb. 11.

If you’re looking for a little bit of love (and exercise) this year, register at