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Love story reaches from Bend to London

By Kim Tobin
Published On: Aug 03 2012 02:41:04 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 04 2012 03:44:40 AM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Kim Tobin tells the touching tale of a Bend woman (familiar to NewsChannel 21 viewers) who almost died in a crash, but that led to the love of her life, half a world away.

It's a love story that stretches 5,000 miles, from Bend all the way to London. A former NewsChannel 21 reporter met a British athlete under very unique circumstances, as a near-death experience brought the two together.

Amy and Ian Sharman describe their love as one in a billion. But it may not have started as most people would imagine.

"The people who are closest to me, my family, went through a tragedy that day," said Amy. "But I wouldn't take any of it back."

"No, because from something really bad, something good can happen," added Ian. "You just never know."

Amy worked an overnight shift at NewsChannel 21 before her accident in April 2006. She was exhausted, but geared up to drive to Seattle and see her family, when she fell asleep at the wheel on the Santiam Pass.

"When a neurosurgeon tells you, 'You're a miracle' -- it's a miracle I'm alive, it really hits you," Amy said.

Amy broke her neck, collarbone and left arm, and shattered her pelvis. Stuck in bed for four months, she got bored and thought she would find someone to talk to on MySpace.

"Up popped millions of people, and I just happened to click on Ian's profile, and I thought he looked like a fun guy. And I thought he could tell me stories and maybe get me through this," said Amy.

Ian said, "When she contacted me, I thought, 'Oh, she seems like a nice person to chat to' -- not at all thinking this was someone to date or meet one day, because she was in America and I was in London."

But after chatting day and night, and battling an eight-hour time difference, Ian flew into Redmond's Roberts Field two months later.

"If it's the right person, there's no distance that's too far, or time that's too long," Amy said. "He was worth it to me."

Three years of long-distance dating got much closer to home, when Ian ditched his job in Economics. He chose to follow his heart, and his passion for running, to America.

'I run for The North Face and a few other sponsors as well, and basically I ran a 100-mile race at the beginning of last year and did particularly well," Ian said. "It was the fastest trail miler that anyone has ever done in the U.S."

Ian has held several Guinness Book world records: including the fastest marathon time dressed as Elvis and and as a super hero, Spider-Man.

After more than 100 marathons under his belt, and traveling across the world for competitions, Ian and Amy walked down the aisle in 2010.

"And it's that immediate gasp that I see her and think, 'I get to marry her,'" Ian said.

Now the couple says they follow their dreams and live life to the fullest. They've traveled to 14 different countries and plan to visit many more.

Amy started a new wedding planning business and Ian coaches runners, and continues to compete. He could even qualify for the Olympics and win gold, if trail running is added to the roster.

Because the two feel so lucky to have found each other, they have a new outlook on life.

"Do what makes you happy," Amy said.

"Don't wait to retire," Ian added. "Do things while you're young."

"Don't wait to travel, don't wait to see the world, and don't wait to meet someone new," said Amy. "It doesn't necessarily need to be on MySpace."

"It probably shouldn't be on MySpace," joked Ian.

"But take a chance, take a risk and it could pay off," said Amy.

To visit Amy's wedding planning website, you can do so here http://sharmanevents.com/

And to visit Ian's Running Coaching website, here is the link http://www.sharmanian.com/

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