Five years ago, Barbara Wilson signed herself and her gym buddie Julie Martin up to do the Dubbo Stampede.
After spending weeks training together, on the morning of the Stampede, before they did the Dingo Dash, something clicked.
"We ended up asking each other out. The Stampede ended up being our first date," Ms Martin said.
This year, the couple will participate in their fifth Stampede. As always, they'll line up with the crowds to take on the Dingo Dash.
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"[Barbara's] idea of romance now is getting up very early, on a Sunday, in winter and doing the Stampede," Ms Martin said.
Ms Wilson said supporting each other around Taronga Western Plains Zoo has lead to a strong foundation for a relationship.
"We've had a few ups and downs but we support each other through the bad times and we're stronger for it. Absolutely. It's like the run itself, there are moments where you feel like you can't go any further and then you just keep going," she said.
"Being a gay couple you run into a lot of challenges. But we're very proud of who we are, we're very proud of our relationship and that we've made it as far as we have."
Ms Wilson and Ms Martin have been engaged for the past three years. Now gay marriage is legal in Australia they've been trying to decide where to hold their wedding.
They've thought about holding it at the zoo, where they first realised their connection.
"We could get married on the run. Maybe next year...," Ms Wilson said.
Joining the couple on their five kilometres this year are their three children: an eight-year-old, 10-year-old and 13-year-old.
Ms Wilson said the kids were looking forward to completing the lap of the zoo to receive their medallion.
It's not the only difference since their first run five years ago. They both have made an effort to improve their health and fitness. Ms Martin has also lost 49 kilograms in the past 12 months.
They want to be role models for their kids to keep active.
Ms Wilson also had some advice for anyone who was doing it tough.
"For people who believe they can't do something. Certainly don't give up, it does get easier. The more you stand up for yourself and what you believe in the easier it will get," she said.
"Stop looking at people as genders and look at them as people. Just because you might have the same gender doesn't mean anything, we're still people."
The Dubbo Stampede will be held at Taronga Western Plains Zoo on Sunday, August 25.
For event information or to register for the 5.3km Dingo Dash, 5.3km Wallaby Wheel, 10km Cheetah Chase, 21.1km Zebra Zoom or the 42.2km Rhino Ramble head to the Dubbo Stampede website.