Zoe and Darren
How We Met
Darren and I first met in May 2011 at a photo shoot in London. It was my second day at a new job working on an advertising campaign for the London 2012 Olympics. Our story, one of true romance, only began 8 months later, when we got together at the work holiday party. Let’s just say there was some white wine involved and everyone saw us, even though we thought we were being discreet!
Darren and I are both very passionate about running. Between us we’ve run 21 marathons and 38 half-marathons (Darren is in the lead on both counts). Most of our vacations are centered around running. Since we’ve been together we’ve raced in Edinburgh, Berlin, London, NYC, Nashville, San Diego, Hawaii and Las Vegas. We love racing in new cities as it’s the perfect way to see the non-touristy parts of every city!
How He Asked
Darren’s proposal exceeded all my expectations. He is very creative, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be so perfect. Sunday 5th November was Marathon Sunday in NYC. I hadn’t been able to get a place in the Marathon but had run the year before so was more than happy to cheer Darren on. As a seasoned runner and marathon spectator, I had begun to map out where I would try and spot Darren along the course. I usually try to see him two or three times. I planned to see him at Mile 8, 17 and 24.
I met up with friends in Brooklyn to cheer and we then made our way over to Manhattan. After seeing Darren in Central Park we headed to the finish area to meet him. At the time I thought it was very nice of my friends (two couples we know) to stick with me the whole day – marathon spectating is hard work!
As with many guys I know, posing for photos isn’t their favorite activity. I love capturing our memories so I always force Darren to pose for a photo with his medal after a race. We have a spot in Central Park just by our apartment where we always go. I asked my friends if they wouldn’t mind taking a quick photo of us – at this point, it was drizzling and everyone wanted to get inside! Darren and I stood on the steps in the park and posed for a photo.
Darren then said to me, let’s get a photo with you wearing the medal, you helped me get here today. This didn’t seem strange to me as training for a marathon is a team effort (those who run will definitely understand). Darren then turned to me and said have a look at the medal, I saw that he had both our names and the date engraved on the back. I was so confused, I remember saying, ‘What, how did you get it engraved so quickly?’
Then the rest is a little bit of a blur, but he told me to turn the medal over as he got down on one knee. He had a medal designed based on the NYC marathon medal design, but that had the words ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME?’ across the top and bottom. The medal design also included Lady Liberty holding a ring box (I only saw this later on!).
I remember going into shock, my legs were shaking so much. I managed to get out the words ‘yes, of course’ but honestly can’t remember Darren’s speech. He says he has it saved somewhere, perhaps we will read it before the wedding! On cloud nine, we headed back to our apartment. When I opened the door I was greeted by cheers from all of our NYC friends. Darren had arranged a surprise party and I had no idea! We had lots of champagne and Magnolia cupcakes, and the whole apartment was decorated beautifully!
Darren had arranged for a photographer to hide behind the trees in Central Park so captured the whole thing on camera! I’m so thankful to have this moment captured.