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Runner on his knees at finish line ... proposing to girlfriend

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Many a May 24 runner has come across the finish line and sunk to their knees, exhausted and relieved to have completed the gruelling race.

Thomas Smith was no different, but what he did next was a first in the Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby ... he proposed to his girlfriend Elizabeth Simmons.

Ms Simmons may have initially been at a loss for words but the women standing nearby were not about to let the romantic moment pass quietly their squeals brought scores of people running to see what was going on.

“We’ve been dating for about a year, friends for two and I just knew she was the one,” said Mr Smith, who planned the proposal about two months ago. Doing it on Bermuda Day had a special significance for him.

“My dad [Glenfield Smith’s] birthday is today and he passed away last year and I wanted to celebrate him as well. It is a gift to my daddy, he loved her. He passed away due to cancer and he ran about 13 of these races and this is my fifth one completed consecutively. I just thought to commemorate his life as well happy birthday daddy in heaven!”

Mr Smith had his plot all planned, he ran the entire 13.1 miles with the ring in a pouch around his waist.

Ms Simmons never suspected a thing as he walked towards her.

“It was just right. I was like ‘yeah, I’m going to propose to her on May 24th and I’m going to run with the ring’,” he said.

“I was trying not to think about it [during the race]. I was a little anxious, not because of the ring but just the race itself. I had been training really good and wanted to do well. I had the ring in the pouch and as I got closer I carried it in on my finger.”

Mr Smith crossed the finish line in two hours and three minutes.

“I wanted to do better,” he said of his time. “But I got her good. It’s a great day today. I’m thankful to God, my Lord and Saviour.”

As the surprise was still sinking in Ms Simmons stated: “I just thought he was excited that I was there waiting for him. I wasn’t expecting him to propose. I just thought he was going to say ‘I’m glad you’re here’, but he ended up pulling out the ring and proposing. Everybody here was excited. I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I love him very much.”

She said yes: Thomas Smith proposed to his girlfriend Elizabeth Simmons at the finish line after the Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby
She said yes: Thomas Smith proposed to his girlfriend Elizabeth Simmons at the finish line after the Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby.

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Published May 25, 2013 at 3:00 am (Updated May 24, 2013 at 11:26 pm)

Runner on his knees at finish line ... proposing to girlfriend

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