Zac Clark Says His N.Y.C. Marathon Goal Is Getting Fiancée Tayshia Adams 'Across the Finish Line'

"I don't think we're going to be paying attention to the time too much," seven-time marathon runner Zac Clark tells PEOPLE

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The Bachelorette's Zac Clark will soon be celebrating another milestone with his fiancée Tayshia Adams: crossing the finish line at the TCS New York City Marathon together on Sunday.

"My commitment to her is that we are going to run together and get her across the finish line," Reebok partner Clark, 37, tells PEOPLE. "That's really my focus."

Clark — who will be running in his Reebok Floatride Energy 3 running shoes in support of his foundation Release Recovery, which offers resources to people recovering from addiction — and Adams — who will run for humanitarian organization World Vision — have logged miles together on the Central Park loop in New York City to prepare for Sunday's race. Even though this weekend's marathon will mark Clark's eighth 26.2-miler (he ran one in London just last month!), the New Jersey native insists "there wasn't a lot of pressure from me" when it came to convincing first-time marathoner Adams, 31, to run with him.

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Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark celebrate their love at The Empire State Building on February 12, 2021 in New York City.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

"Early on in our relationship, we started to talk about ways that we can give back, and I explained one of the ways it's been easiest to me is doing some type of athletic feat and putting a purpose behind it," Clark says. "We started talking about running, and she really made the decision on her own."

Clark has run the N.Y.C. Marathon several times, but he didn't always love lacing up and pounding the pavement. Despite playing three sports growing up, "I hated running," he says. Clark only came around to running when he entered rehab one decade ago.

"I remember being essentially 250 lbs., being in rehab, looking in the mirror and being like, 'I got to figure something out here,' " the reality star, who celebrated 10 years of sobriety this summer, recalls. "I started walking and walking turned into a walk-run. So, I run to stay in shape, but also for my mental health."

RELATED VIDEO: Bachelorette Tayshia Adams Opens Up About Finding Her 'Person' in Zac Clark: 'He's What I've Always Wanted'

This year's marathon will be Clark's first N.Y.C. race since appearing on The Bachelorette, so he expects some members of Bachelor Nation to be cheering him on from the sidelines. "And I'm running with Tayshia, so I'm going to be focused on protecting her and making sure she's able to stay focused on the task at hand, not the next selfie," Clark quips.

In addition to Adams, Clark will be running alongside a group of 60 people — including fellow Bachelorette season 16 contestant Jason Foster — as part of his Release Recovery team.

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"That's really my 'why,' " Clark says of his reason for participating in the marathon. "We're running on Sunday with a higher purpose. I do think that the change is happening and if we're a little piece of that, giving people just the strength to ask for help, that's all we can really ask for."

Clark considered the London marathon his "run hard" race and anticipates "just really staying present, having fun with it" this weekend in New York. "I don't think we're going to be paying attention to the time too much," he says.

Once Clark and Adams cross the finish line, they'll be celebrating with the Release Recovery group at a restaurant on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where he plans to eat some pasta and watch his favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, play.

Beyond race day, Clark and Adams want to just take it easy in their hometown and explore the city together.

"We're really looking forward to kicking back after we get done and really spending some time here in New York," he says. "With our schedules and how everything's worked out, we're just super excited to take advantage of what's here and eat some good food and explore a little bit and make sure that she really feels like she knows New York."

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