Proposal Stories

Philly Guy Runs Marathon, Proposes at Finish Line, is Better at Sundays Than You

We'd also like to mention this was his *first* marathon.


philadelphia marathon proposal

All photos by Joseph Gidjunis of JPG Photo & Video

We’ve seen marathon proposals go epically wrong, but we’ve also seen them go wonderfully right. Philly road races are often full of sentimental moments (and really great signs), and Sunday’s Philadelphia Marathon was no exception. Essington’s Ben Waldeck, 26, was out there pounding the pavement, and he spent all 26.2 miles thinking about one thing: what he was going to say to girlfriend Erin Armstrong, 25, when he reached the end.

philadelphia marathon proposal

If you’re thinking Ben, my dude, this is your first marathon—just worry about some water and some carbs, well, we’re right there with ya. Because Sunday was Ben’s first marathon, and simply completing it seems like enough of an accomplishment for one weekend, right? But, overachiever that he is, Ben crossed the finish line, then launched right into his proposal. (The ring was hidden in the pocket of the jacket his mother handed him after the race.)

“He said this was the furthest distance he’s ever gone, and he can’t wait to go a further distance with me,” explains Erin, who was taken completely by surprise. “Then he got down on one knee and I blacked out.”

Joseph Gidjunis of JPG Photo & Video was already on hand to document the race. When Ben’s father clued him in on what was about to go down, he quickly popped off a few snaps of the moment.

philadelphia marathon proposal

“Erin was so focused on making the day about me. So when I got to throw it back to her, it made it all the better,” says Ben. “Though I wasn’t sure that I was gonna be able to get back up after I got down.”

Ben’s sister made a special runner’s bib to commemorate the occasion, and afterwards arranged a get-together at Monaghan’s Pub in Tinicum, where the couple was working when they first met.

philadelphia marathon proposal

“We got to sit, watch the Eagles game, and celebrate with our entire family,” adds Erin.

Exercise, an engagement, and the Iggles. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect Philadelphia Sunday, then we don’t know what is.

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