On May 17 at 9 a.m., Vanessa Reiser was in position, and all decked out in a $3,500 bridal dress from Lovely Bride in Manhattan specially designed for her first one-woman run through New York. The 285 miles, starting in Oswego, N.Y., and ending in J. Hood Wright Park, N.Y., would be completed over 12 days. For each of the nine counties she ran through, a donation would be made to a local domestic abuse shelter.

Ms. Reiser is not getting married; she has been married twice before (in 1998 for eight years and in 2013 for five years). And in July 2020, she broke off her third engagement to a man she said was a narcissistic abuser.

Ms. Reiser, 48, a psychotherapist who lives in Congers, N.Y., said: “But I’m a strong girl. Once I got away and got my power back, I turned a corner. I’m proud to say that strong girl never left.”

Her decision to raise awareness to narcissistic domestic abuse in wedding attire was simple: “If I run in a white dress,” she said, “people might pay attention.”

worn to signify the start of a marriage in what one hopes will be a long, happy relationship, and thus life. Historically, it has remained one of the most iconic visuals.

Over the past several years, however, that visual has been changing. Women are purposely fashioning the white dress to bring awareness to a variety of issues and causes.

Ms. Reiser, a two-time Ironman triathlon competitor, got the idea to run in the dress while

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