So many things made Bob and Betty Kinder stand out from the thousands of people who crossed the finish line of the recent Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.
He is 88, she is 84.
They held hands as they finished walking the 5K.
And the one thing that everyone couldn’t help but notice: the ball cap on Bob’s head that said, “Sexy Old Fart.”
“Without the hat I’m just another face in the crowd,” Bob said in an interview with KOCO of Oklahoma City.
The couple’s official finish-line photo, posted on the marathon’s Facebook page on April 30, has elicited more than 4,000 responses and been shared more than 1,600 times.
“AWESOME!” wrote one woman on Facebook. “I can’t even get my husband to walk with me.”
On Monday, Runner’s World declared the moment “the sweetest finish line photo ever.”
The Kinders walked down the aisle 60 years ago after meeting at The Oklahoman newspaper, where they both worked. They were unable to have children and spent the majority of their lives learning how to love each other just right.
“Being sure you duck when the frying pan’s throwed at you,” Bob joked to KFOR in Oklahoma City. “Naw, you just gotta keep on saying I love you all the time, I love you. And give them a hug and a kiss and let ’em know you appreciate them.”
They’ve traveled a lot, and Bob has at least one ball cap from every state in his extensive lid collection; Betty guesses he has more than 100. He bought the custom “Sexy Old Fart” hat about a year ago after a flight attendant who saw his “Grumpy Old Fart” hat told him he was sexy, not grumpy.
Bob decided not to argue with her.
They had never participated in the Oklahoma City marathon. After they decided to give it a go, Betty had to have open-heart surgery and wasn’t sure she’d be able to walk it.
But she practiced in rehab without telling their family she was in training, they told KFOR. Some of their family members didn’t find out they had participated until they saw their photo go viral online. They plan to do the race again next year.
Betty said she wasn’t surprised that her husband’s silly hat grabbed so much attention.
“He likes to have fun,” she told KOCO. “He’s pretty much a tease.”