Love was in the air for at least two couples after the SeaWheeze Half-Marathon in Vancouver on Sunday. Race winner Sarah Elliott received the “best airport pickup ever” when her husband greeted her homecoming with a sign celebrating her victory, and Bill Kwok staged an elaborate finish-line proposal to his girlfriend, Julie Kilgus.
Kwok and Kilgus live in Los Angeles, where they met at the Dog Haus running club, and they have travelled to races all over the world together. “There’s no better way to explore a new place than to run there,” says Kwok, who enlisted the help of Lululemon and the race organizers in planning his proposal, complete with roses and a microphone. He also has extended family in the area, and got everybody involved in the plan.
Kilgus got into the race through the lottery, and Kwok’s plan was to accompany her to Vancouver and volunteer at the race. “He ran me in to the finish line from about 100 yards out,” Kilgus told us, “He pulled me over to the side, took my earbuds out, put my medal on me, and handed me these beautiful flowers. And then he took the mic from the mc, and suddenly I realized what was about to happen.”
She said yes, but the couple have not set a wedding date. (No doubt the wedding will involve traveling and running in some way.) The couple hasn’t wasted any time exploring western Canada, travelling to Banff and Jasper right after the race. Kwok is off to run a half-marathon in Lisbon, Portugal in three weeks.
As for Elliott, she and her husband, Andrew MacKay, are newlyweds, having just gotten married in August. “He’s the best,” says Elliott, who will be racing the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21. “He’s the most supportive husband ever, from cheerleading at all my races, to his post-race smoothies, there’s no way I would be running as well as I am without his support.”
MacKay decided to run a marathon a couple of years go, just to see what his partner puts herself through in training. (He has since moved on to triathlons.) Now, that’s love.