So far this engagement season 4 people that I have had contact with in my lifetime and am still “friends” with have gotten engaged. And by so far in this engagement season, I mean last week. Also, I am starting engagement season a little early. Don’t even ask me to know how many there are once Dec 24th rolls around.
In honor of engagement season I have decided to write about one of my favorite proposals with a running twist. Jordan is one of my dailymile friends. We cheer each other on and follow each other’s running journeys. He also happens to follow my blog and my Facebook page. You should too but that is a whole different post. Moving on…a few weeks ago I noticed that Jordan’s Facebook picture changed to him down on one knee looking up at a shocked young woman. Engagement season + young couple (one down on one knee) = AH! Just engaged!! The twist?! They were at the finish-line of MARATHON!
Yeah that is right. Jordan proposed after he ran 26.2 miles by the side of his (now) fiancee, Kendall. If running a marathon isn’t daunting enough (they have both ran several), imagine doing it with the nagging feeling that something greater is coming at the finish. Imagine doing it carrying the most important piece of jewelery you ever will. I could barely carry my best friend’s wedding band down the aisle at her actual wedding. I was so thrilled for them and interested in the story I asked Jordan if I could tell you all about it! Here is the short interview about this amazing couple:
Q: How did you meet your fiancee, and what is your love story so far?
J: We actually met at a summer park run in June of 2011. We “knew of” each other before this particular run, but we had never talked until one day where she came up to me at the park run and started talking to me. It was NOT a love at first sight moment . We ended up hanging out because I had just started running barefoot a month and a half before, and she wanted to learn about it. Since I ran around the same football field at the same time every day of the week, I didn’t really think twice to tell her she was welcome to join me one day. It didn’t really matter to me if she showed up. We ran together Wednesday through Friday that week, and after all the running and talking I wanted to ask her to hang out that weekend. We went to the lake on Saturday and rode around on a jet ski. At that point we were more than just two people running together.
Q: How has running played a role in your relationship?
J: Running is a HUGE part of our relationship. We usually run together once or twice a week. If she is running on the treadmill, I’ll sit there and watch Netflix with her, and vice versa. We also bike with one another when it’s time for long runs. Sometimes one of us will bike out while the other runs, we swap, then head back. We have found it is a great way to spend time together and have a chance to talk, and it always makes the runs go quicker! Since we are both crazy about running, any time we go out of town it is for a race. We would much rather put our money towards travel/entry for a race than buy each other gifts or go out to a fancy dinner!
Q: When did you decide to propose at the marathon?
J: The proposal idea actually came up 6 DAYS before the marathon. We had signed up about 3 weeks in advance, but the weekend after signing up, I paced a marathon and my ankle was hurting afterward. I decided since I could not run the race I wanted, I would run with her. The Sunday beforehand, I realized what a perfect opportunity it would be to propose, so I went in to planning mode!
Q: Did you carry the ring the entire 26.2 miles?
J: I carried the ring in a ziploc bag inside of a SPI Belt I borrowed from my dad. I also carried my phone with an extended battery so Kendall’s sister could track our location. Even though the belt did not bounce my butt was SORE from the phone being pressed up against it (I wore the belt under the waistband of my shorts to hide it).
Q: As you were running the marathon with Kendall, did being nervous about the proposal add a whole different element to the race?
J: I wouldn’t say I was nervous about the proposal. Leading up to the marathon, I just thought of the proposal as part of the process of running the marathon. We would start the race, run 26.2 miles, and I would get on my knee at the finish. There was no question that I was going to do it, especially since her family had driven three hours to see it, and there was no question that she would say yes… so mentally I was prepared to do it!
However, knowing that I was going to propose DEFINITELY made the race a whole different experience for me. The run seemed agonizingly long, and the only thing I could think about the whole time was proposing, and how great it would feel to be done!!!
The fun part of the whole experience was that she had absolutely NO IDEA I was going to propose. So the entire race, I was dropping hints about the proposal and she did not pick up a single one…. not that I wanted her to! One example was when she said, “I might actually cry at the finish” (since me running with her meant a lot to her), and I responded, “Don’t worry, I’m expecting it”.
Q: Any tips for other runners planning to propose after a big race?
J: Enlist the help of others! Since Kendall’s parents had never seen her finish a marathon, seeing them at the finish was HUGE for her and made her extremely happy before I even proposed. That was also how we ended up with a video and pictures of the proposal. I had also contacted the race director via Facebook and he went above and beyond to make it as special as possible. He got a friend of his to be present at the finish and coordinate everything for her family, so they were able to stand right at the finish just feet away, and the race director also tipped off the DJ and photographers to expect the proposal.
Because of the planning and assistance of everyone involved, everything was PERFECT! It was literally the happiest day of our lives, and we are excited that we will be able to relive the moment for decades to come since it was captured so well on video!
Here is the video of Jordan and Kendall getting engaged!
I was so excited for Jordan and Kendall. I was especially excited to tell their story and live vicariously through them because everyone here knows that there is no way that H would A. ever run a marathon with me (or behind me, or in front of me, or ever), leading to B. propose after running a marathon (or 5k, or 10k, or any distance).
What is next for this great couple? I am going to imagine it full of wedding planning and celebrating including tying the knot while running and saying I Do as soon as they cross the finish-line. A runner can dream, right?
Cheers, Jordan and Kendall!