Friday, May 8, 2015

Random Friday Post: Proposing at the Finish

By now some of you may have seen the story about the couple who tried to get engaged at the finish line of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon last weekend. If not, definitely check it out here. In brief, Bryan Peterson planned to propose to Veronica Carter, his girlfriend of eight years, at the end of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. The two crossed the finish line together but before he could get down on one knee, medical personnel interrupted the touching personal moment and told them to move along. They had to walk another dozen or so yards before Peterson could finish his proposal--Carter said yes.

As some of my faithful readers know, I proposed to my wife at the finish of the 2013 New York City Marathon so I now consider myself an expert on finish line proposals. Ours went off without a hitch and no race officials interrupted, and that was in New York with over 50,000 finishers, where as the Pittsburgh Half had just under 15,000. Why the difference? Peterson made two rookie mistakes which cost him his perfect proposal. Hopefully he reads this post so that he can get it right the next time around.

If you or someone you know are planning a finish line proposal: just head my simple advice:

1) Propose before crossing, not after. Obviously, this won't work if you're worried about time. In 2013, my now-wife and I had both PR'd at the Chicago Marathon three weeks earlier so neither of us was running for time in New York. By proposing just before you cross, you're in control. I proposed with roughly 200 yards to go--close enough that we could see the finish, but not so close that officials could hurry us along. 

2) Get down on one knee first. Peterson lost the element of surprise because he tried to say too much before getting down on one knee. If he'd gotten down on one knee right away, even if race officials had still tried to move him, he probably could've finished his proposal first. I told my now-wife I was having serious hip pain before "collapsing" onto one knee. There was no risk of losing the element of surprise and anyone who could see us knew what was happening so it was very unlikely we'd be told to move along.

In all seriousness, I think it's wonderful that Carter said yes, even with the minor snafu. If the two of them would like to invite me to their wedding, I'd be happy to offer them some more running romance pointers.

1 comment:

  1. "Peterson made two rookie mistakes which cost him his perfect proposal. Hopefully he reads this post so that he can get it right the next time around."

    Are you suggesting that he propose to her again? Or to his next wife? ;)