At the Finish Line

Do you struggle to keep up with your lady’s running routine?  Maybe the next time she runs a big race, you can reward her at the finish line with your creative proposal idea.  If you are not opposed to the public types of proposals and want to really get a bunch of cheers when she says yes, then this could be a proposal for the record books.

Since she will be doing all the work in training miles and time, your preparations and setup for this creative proposal idea should be fairly easy by comparison.  You don’t have to really get any permission from the race organizers to use their event as the location for your proposal, but you certainly can and will need to if you want to make a big event of it.  The key in either method is to be able to put your best knee forward without interfering with the actual race event.

If you don’t want to coordinate with the event, then you can set up just past the finish line and get down on one knee after she crosses the line.  Depending on the size and location of the race, you may not be able to get to the finish line because it is blocked off, but you may be able to get to the section where she gets her medal for finishing.  That is a great place because you can possibly sweet talk one of the photographers into keeping an eye on you so they can get the big moment.  That would be one medal picture she will actually buy.

There are other places you can post yourself if you want.  There are the thunder pots if you have that kind of joking relationship (not recommended though, as this is not a celebratory moment for the rest of the people in line).   Many races end in parks or at least near large grassy areas with other vendor booths set up, so you can always use them to your advantage.   One idea would be to set up a “vendor table” where she would walk up to a history of you and her together in pictures on the table.  She could walk down that memory lane and at the end of the table, you could tell her how great the past was and how much you want to make the future even better.  You could really have fun with that one if you are creative and/or crafty.

While all those thoughts are great, I personally feel that you being on one knee at the finish line as she heads down the final straightaway is by far the best picture of romance.  She is literally racing towards you as you hold the key to your future together in your hands.  In order to pull this off, you will have to talk to the race coordinators long beforehand to work out the details.  While being in the center of the finish line would be best, you may have to settle for a section off to the side.  If this is the case, then you can certainly work with that.  Just let her know before the race that you are going to be looking for her at the finish line on whatever side they tell you to use.  Tell her you want to cheer for her and get a good picture so make sure to be on that side when she is finishing.  Now I can tell you from experience that her brain may or may not be working properly at the end of the race, so this is not a foolproof plan, but it is totally worth the risk.

Once you have worked out a place to be set up, you should also ask them if you can get them to announce something as she is coming down the stretch.  If she is the type that does not wear headphones, this will work.  If she does wear headphones, then maybe you don’t need to do it, but you can always have it on stand by.  If you do use the announcer, you will want to have a spotter that can communicate with them that she is on her way.  You won’t be able to rely on the announcer to look for her.  You can have your spotter, or network of spotters communicating so that the announcer can get on the mic as she is within fifty yards or so and call out her name plus say you are at the finish line with a special question for her.

Neil Lane Engagement Rings - Jared The Galleria of Jewelry
This brings us to another important part of the process for you.  Her support team.  I am as introverted as they come; in fact, I scored almost perfect (if you can call it that) on a personality test for the level of introversion a person has.  I may have even beat out the Uni bomber and various gnomes and hermits.  But I have to admit that having all the people on the side of the road cheering was pretty motivational for me during my races.  I will never know the guy’s name, but one man especially sticks in my head somewhere around mile 22, when everything hurt and my brain wasn’t working any longer, that got through and motivated me to keep on going.

If I were planning this type of creative marriage proposal, without question, I would get as many of her friends and family together to come cheer her on.  If it is a 5k, then you can really pile up at the end of the race.  If it is a mini or a marathon, then you can have people she knows every couple of miles with signs for her cheering her on.  I can’t tell you how great she will feel, especially if it is a surprise when she sees them.  If I could recommend one thing about doing this, I would increase the frequency of people as the race goes on so she can keep her spirits high as her energy drains.  If you get 20 people to come out, I would have a couple at mile 5, 10, halfway, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 25, and 26. The person at mile 26 would communicate with your spotter at the announcer (and you) that she is just .2 miles away so everyone can be on the lookout for her.  Hopefully some of the people who were holding signs could also have made it back to the finish by then as well.

Once she hits the 26 mile mark, you have roughly 2-4 minutes depending on her pace to get ready.  The crowd should help you by making some room and the announcer may also be able to help by asking people to shift a little. It is now all up to you.  Even if she is hurting, she will crawl the rest of the way to get to you just like Hyvon Ngetich did at the Austin Marathon just a few days ago (as of the time of this writing).

If she does, you better get out there and be beside her the whole way to the finish line.  That would be the most epic marriage proposal ever and if it happens, we want to hear about it!

Barring any craziness like that, she should say yes and give you a huge hug and kiss.  At that point, your spotter can tell the announcer to go bananas and have the crowd give you a round of applause as well. You can then let her get her medals, bananas, bagels, triple cheeseburgers, or whatever else she wants after running a big race.

Something else you can think of if she is going to have her iPod playing during the race is to make your own playlist for her.  You will want to disguise it as hers, so if she is like me and has one called 26.2, then you know that is the one you want to replace with yours.  You can leave her favorite songs on it so it is not totally screwed up, but record a couple of your own voice tracks telling her how proud you are of her and cheer her on.  You could say all kinds of things as little 5 second snippets between tracks to keep her interested.  Funny, dirty, motivational…whatever you want.  You could also put in several teasers about what is coming at the end of the race if you wanted to build the suspense.

While you are building suspense, you could also have the people along the race route holding signs up that also tease what is coming at the end of the race.  Just make sure to have her name on the signs.  Since she does not know that these people are going to be there, she might miss the signs.  But once she sees the first one, she will be on the lookout the rest of the race.

Love is a marathon and not a sprint.  Take a moment right now to recharge your relationship and send her a bouquet of flowers to her work.  Or even better, how about some Shari’s Berries? Yummy!

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