Your Guide to Proposing Marriage at an Upcoming Marathon

by On Jan 13, 2018

When you’re a dedicated marathon runner, sometimes a personal best requires a ring, a run and a big helping of romance!

Your Guide to Proposing Marriage at an Upcoming Marathon

Whether you’re old or new to the Singapore marathon scene, you know that participation requires myriad decisions. Should you try a distance that pushes your capacity? Could investing in new running shoes improve your performance? Does it make sense to volunteer to work the event rather than participate? Oh, and should you propose marriage to the love of your life next time the two of you run a marathon?

If your answer to this question is, “Of course, why didn’t I think of this before?” you’re the romantic soul for whom this article is written. But, not every circumstance is right. Getting down on one knee can ruin a perfectly-timed performance at the 5km marker and who wants to receive a proposal at a water station or in front of a bank of porta johns?

We consider Singaporean Ramesh Tamilarath a trendsetter! He proposed to his childhood sweetheart at Sundown Marathon Singapore 2014. And while the Sundown continues to be a popular proposal venue, it’s not the only show in town. Check out this Facebook page to meet recently-engaged Singaporeans Willie and Karen who share their romantic 2017 post-Standard Chartered Marathon tale. Inspired? You should be.

Why do people propose at marathons?

Ask 28-year-old Adam Ruddick, who proposed to Rachel Newell on 26 April 2016 at the London Marathon. Adam waited until the two crossed the finish line because he “couldn’t resist the "perfect opportunity" to pop the question”. For Adam, the timing was everything.

She said yes, of course, but Ruddick’s “best-laid plans” were nearly sabotaged by an injury flare up. Happily, he had no intention of putting off his proposal saying, "I just had to suck it up." Concealing the ring proved equally problematic for a dude dressed in running togs, but he managed it by stuffing sweets into his pocket to hide the ring box shape. Now, that’s a tip that’s worth borrowing.

Your Guide to Proposing Marriage at an Upcoming Marathon

Photo Credit: Ramesh

What preparations should you make?

Start by making sure your sweetie is predisposed to say yes. Don’t follow in the running shoes of Norville Rogers whose clever plan to propose at mile 13 of the 2017 Crystal Cove Marathon had him stuffing a diamond engagement ring into his waist pack.

Sadly, she turned him down, exclaiming, “God, no!” At that awkward moment, there was nothing to do but rejoin the race. We congratulate him for his courage.

How could this have been avoided? By following in the footsteps of Kate Allen and Steve Hughes who became engaged near the finish line at the St. Neot’s Half Marathon on 26 November 2017. They weren’t taking chances. “We had the ring made in Paris,” said Kate. “I was just waiting for him to choose his moment,” she adds.

Other preparations to consider

  • Inform those nearest and dearest to you about your proposal intention if you want them to witness it.
  • Assign someone to bring chilled champagne or other libations to the finish line for a spontaneous toast.
  • Shop for that ring and figure out a clever way to hide it. Keep it safe, too. You don’t want to drop it!
  • Check out the route before the race to select the perfect proposal spot beforehand.
  • Ask friends to have mobiles at the ready or hire a photographer to get that shot.
  • Try to keep your nerves in check for any number of reasons!

Need help coming up with smart ideas? Check out marriage proposal photos taken at the 2017 Boston Marathon where you will find no shortage of great ideas free for the taking.

Your Guide to Proposing Marriage at an Upcoming Marathon

But, which marathon or race will you choose?

One of the things your honey likely loves most about you is your sentimentality. If you two met or fell in love at a specific marathon, that establishes a link between you two and that event. But suppose you were fixed up, met online or at work, and there’s no specific race that’s symbolic of your relationship. No sweat.

Coordinate your proposal with a personal date that has meaning to you both: A birthday, anniversary of the day that you two realised that you were in love. There’s always a run around St. Valentine’s Day that is suitable.

Your Guide to Proposing Marriage at an Upcoming Marathon

Photo Credit: Adam Ruddick

Read this article, “Can You Believe These Singapore Running Events Changed People’s Lives?” to see whether our suggestions inspire your thinking. Whether charitable, daunting or just plain fun, match up your personalities to a race and you’re good to go.

Why contingency plans are critical

There’s nothing you can do if the object of your affection says no, but you can make contingency plans in the event weather, an injury or a zombie apocalypse descends upon Singapore on the day you’ve chosen to declare your intentions. Just one contingency plan, you ask? Not if you want to feel supremely confident.

The “Men’s Fitness” magazine article, “How to Propose to Your Girlfriend,” advises any dude eager to propose at a race to take no chances. You need Plan B, Plan C and Plan D to cover any contingency.

Suppose she gets sick and doesn’t show at the marathon? What if she runs so far ahead of you, you couldn’t catch her if someone strapped a rocket to your bum? What will you do if the place you chose is populated by so many insects, you’re both attacked before you can get down on one knee?

We’re not telling you what your backup plans should be; we’re just impressing upon you the importance of having a pub, dinner reservation or flowers waiting at home in the event you’re chased there by those zombies!

Do you think we will see more proposals in the coming year at marathons that run the gamut from small events to the OSIM Sundown Marathon 2018? That’s anyone’s guess, but if you intend to be one of them, please get in touch with us so we can share your love story with the world!

Nathaniel is a disciplined casual runner and a lover of bananas. As a columnist for RunSociety, he is always on the lookout for exciting and controversial topics that touch the heart of the running community in Singapore, often adding in his funny observations. He has embarked on a mission to start a world class running group in Asia.

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