Some runners in this year’s New York City Marathon may have dropped to their knees from exhaustion, but one out-of-town participant got down on his knee to pop the question.
Arizona resident Kristopher Glocksien surprised his girlfriend of four years Wendy Macias, who was cheering him on from the sidelines on mile 17 on the Upper East Side, when he made a brief stop to propose during the Nov. 7 sports event.
“I just tried to get him to read my sign, I did not expect it,” Macias told amNewYork Metro.
Glocksien, a grounds and maintenance technician, is an experienced athlete and usually competes in triathlons, but Sunday’s competition was his first marathon.
“It was nice to just have to run,” he said. “I had a little extra energy to pop the question I guess.”
He carried the ring in his pocket for the first 15 miles or so of the race, from Staten Island through Brooklyn and Queens, before keeping it on his pinky finger once he knew he was getting close to Macias and his family watching from First Avenue near East 86th Street.
“It was a big event and, I don’t know, I was having a good race and thought, ‘why not,'” he said. “The whole family was there to see, so it kind of worked out.”
She said “yes” and less than a minute after his brave move, he kept on his 26.2 mile journey, heading toward the Bronx. The stunning encounter was captured on video by his sister Kristin Malone, and her sister-in-law Alanna soon posted it on social media.
My sister-in-law’s brother ran 17 miles with an engagement ring on his pinkie so he could surprise his gf with proposal in middle of #NYCMarathon2021. Then he was off to finish the race! 😂 #55secondproposal #romance @NY1 @ABC7NY @nowthisnews @AP_Sports @NYTSports @SInow pic.twitter.com/rJxGBiUzFI
— Alanna Malone (@AlannaMalone) November 7, 2021
“All of a sudden he pops down on one knee and took us all by surprise,” said Kristin. “We all were crying and taking videos and stuff.”
The runner was happy to join the marathon’s celebrated return this year, following the event being called off by organizers during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“It was a bucket list kind of thing,” he said. “It was really fun, it’s unbelievable how many people showed up for it.”
The happy couple flew in from the Copper State Thursday and Macias, who works at the Arizona State Bar, said she’s watched her now-fiancé for many a race.
“Many hours of spectating,” she said. “It took a marathon for this to happen.”
The two lovebirds and their family will celebrate in the city with some slices and brews before heading back out west.
“We’ll finish out the day here,” so Glocksien. “Probably grab some pizza and beers.”