Goldie and Lea
How We Met
Running has played a role in our relationship from day one. I am a former sprinter turned half-marathoner and had just run a New York Road Runners (NYRR) 10K race when I met Lea for our first date in May of 2016. I met her through a dating app and after talking for a little while, we decided to meet up. It was always tough to find time to meet with her, since I was always busy running races and participating in NYRR Open Runs – a series of free, weekly runs in parks throughout the five boroughs hosted by New York Road Runners – so we decided to meet after my race. I was running late and was still in my sweaty workout gear. Lea didn’t mind whatsoever. I was so attracted to her laid back and relaxed demeanor.
Lea and I are different people. She is patient with people in ways that I am not. She is so giving with her time and has no hang ups. In general, she is very open and accepting and has no judgments of anyone else. Even when things go wrong, Lea just sighs and says, “Let’s figure out what we are going to do now,” and does it. Her patience with my tardiness and sweaty appearance after that first date really attracted me to her and we’ve been together ever since. We live together with our dog and exercise has become a part of our lifestyle. I began to bring Lea on runs with me. She started out by volunteering and then built up her confidence to start running with me, which has actually helped her lose weight and manage her diabetes.
How She Asked
I decided that, since running has become such a big part of our lives, I wanted our families and our running family at the proposal with us. I had spent a lot of time planning the proposal out with the NYRR Open Run group, who were all excited to be involved. One runner designed shirts for the group to wear, another runner offered to buy us pizza and bring champagne and wine.
I arranged with the group that Lea and I would be the last two to run in from the 5k course. As the rest of the runners – who have become like family to us – finished their run they put on the matching t-shirts, specially designed for the occasion, strung colored lights to illuminate the finish line and, as we approached, they formed a tunnel for us to run through. On the other side of the tunnel were our families and friends, who formed a circle.
I ran through first and when Lea finished, I got down on one knee in the middle of the circle of our loved ones and presented her with a finisher’s metal in the shape of a diamond ring. Lea was shocked, but she immediately said yes and champagne bottles were popped.