A 2011 New York City Marathon experience that ended with a marriage proposal

Canadian Colin Arnott recalls the 2011 New York City Marathon and a memorable running-related marriage proposal

November 1st, 2017 by | Posted in NYC Marathon, Runs & Races | Tags: , ,

New York City Marathon
Photo: Colin Arnott/submitted.

As the 2017 New York City Marathon approaches, Canadian Running is sharing runners’ memorable stories from the world’s largest 42.2K.

In 2011, the year before the New York City Marathon was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, Canadian Colin Arnott carried valuable goods inside a fanny pack for the entirety of the point-to-point marathon that begins on Staten Island and finishes in Manhattan. Then, at the finish line, he asked his now-wife Lee, who earned a Boston Marathon qualifying time that day, to marry him.

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“After we crossed the line, I gave my camera to one of the volunteers, and asked her to snap pics as I was going to ask Lee Anne to marry me,” Arnott says. “It created quite a buzz amongst the finishers and volunteers. We are still happily married and enjoy running every day.”

Arnott first got the idea of proposing at the New York City Marathon in June of 2011 when he ran a 100-mile (160K) race in Scotland. “My [now-] wife paced me for over 10 hours through the highlands of Scotland into the night in the wind and rain,” he says. “It was that moment that I realized that she must really love me.”

Why New York City specifically? “We had been to New York previously and both love the city,” he says. “I thought it would be a moment to remember and a place that we will never forget.”

The two were in New York City in September of this year and snapped photos of the finish line on a run in Central Park, which remains the site of the finish line to this date. The 2017 New York City Marathon goes off on Nov. 5.

Got a memorable moment from a past New York City Marathon? Get in touch by emailing tim@runningmagazine.ca