Race Together, Stay Together: 6 Couples Who Got Engaged at the Finish Line

It’s marathon season! Cities across the nation are gearing up for racers to lace up their trainers, hit the pavement and break personal records in everything from a 5K fun run to 50K ultra marathons. But if you notice your social feeds blowing up with couples announcing their engagements, it’s not just a coincidence.

According to a study conducted by The Knot, the beginning of November until the end of February is marked as “proposal season,” a time of year when nearly 4 out of 10 couples get engaged. The following couples took it one step further by popping the question at the finish line.

All signs pointed to a ‘yes’

My now-fiance, Matt, and I signed up for the SeaWheeze Half-Marathon in Vancouver and flew into Seattle to do some sightseeing beforehand. We were having the most amazing week until I woke up with food poisoning. It continued the entire day before the race, and I was convinced I wasn’t going to run. But with a lot of convincing from Matt and our friends, I decided to run/walk the race with a friend and hoped to make it to the end. Matt ran with us for the first mile before taking off on his own. My friend and I jogged at a comfortable pace and crossed the finish line two-and-a-half hours later. There Matt was, waiting to catch me and congratulate me. Or so I thought.

As I was trying to tell him about our run, he wouldn’t let go of my hands. I stopped to look at him to make sure he was okay, and I saw his eyes were red. I then realized what was happening. When I went to wipe the sweat out of my face, I noticed a group of women holding signs that said, “Brielle, will you marry me?” I immediately started crying, and to be honest, I don’t remember what Matt was saying to me. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Our friends, along with so many other racers, were around us cheering as I said yes! – Brielle H., Coopersburg, Pa.

Two questions, one answer

My fiance, Derrek, and I turned the last corner of the 2016 Boston Marathon and saw the bright blue finish line archway with a thick, loud crowd standing on each side. We sprinted toward the finish line and crossed it with our arms up in the air and huge smiles on our faces. We did it! I was basking in that glow of marathon euphoria as we crossed the mats when all of a sudden, Derrek grabbed my arm and knelt down on the ground. I panicked thinking something was wrong with him, but he looked up at me with one knee on the ground and the biggest smile and asked, “Will you marry me?”

For a second, I didn’t even register the ring in his hand. My brain was trying to switch from a marathon mindset to the reality of my boyfriend down on one knee at the Boston finish line holding this engagement ring and asking those four words. A medical attendants came over thinking Derrek needed help. Then he saw what was happening and said to me, “Well, what are you going to say?” I answered, “Yes!” and he put the ring on my finger . Then we turned around to a cheering crowd. As we continued walking in the finisher chute, I couldn’t stop smiling and believing what had just happened. I just was proposed to at the Boston Marathon finish line, a race and city that is so near and dear to my heart. And now I was engaged. – Kayla G., New Richmond, Wis.

For better or worse finish times

My now-husband proposed to me at the Twin Cities Marathon in 2008. We were planning to run the entire race together but lost each other pretty early on. I was upset with him, thinking he ditched me so he could say he had a better time. But he had to finish before me—my mom was holding onto the ring at the finish line! The marathon coordinators let him wait for me at the end, and I had no idea what was coming. As I came up to the end, I saw my then-boyfriend waiting there. The rest was history, and our marathon running didn’t stop there. We completed one more when we got engaged, another during our engagement and then again once we were married. – Laura S., Woodbury, Minn.

Mid-race request

I proposed to my girlfriend, Kristi, on mile five of a half marathon in Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, N.Y. A photographer hid to take photos of the engagement, and the race director even rerouted the course so that I could propose in front of a waterfall. – Alex H., Easton, Md.

Teammates turned lifemates

My husband and I met each other 11 years ago when we were competing in cross-country and track at Cal State San Marcos. We quickly realized if we could s*** in the woods together, we could get through anything. We both earned All-American honors and decided to keep running in races after graduation to set personal records and good times.

In 2012, we got married on the track by our college coach and mile legend Steve Scott, and even ran a victory lap in our spikes with the wedding party before dancing all night long. Today, we still both compete professionally and train together in the town where it all started. Here we are on our one-year marriage anniversary, continuing to run through life together. — Morgan G., Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

A cross-country proposal

On Sept. 24, 2016, I surprised my now-fiancé at the finish line of her 50K ultra marathon in Auburn, Calif. We live in New Jersey, and she flew out alone the morning before, as I told her I was unable to make the trip with her. Little did she know that I booked my own evening flight and arranged to be at the finish line for the surprise! – Mike S., West Orange, N.J.

Emily is a recent graduate and proud Midwesterner who just moved to the big city to start her career in magazine journalism. When she isn't commuting between Brooklyn and Manhattan, she enjoys browsing bookstores for her next read, sipping chai tea lattes at local coffee shops, and playing tourist in the city she always dreamed of living in.