- Associated Press - Monday, September 18, 2017

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - When Mike Snyder woke up to early-morning thunderstorms on Sunday, he wasn’t worried about how the rain would affect his plans to run the Sioux Falls Marathon.

He was worried about his plans after the race and the diamond engagement ring stashed in the center console of his car, the Argus Leader reported .

Snyder, a 33-year-old Sioux Falls attorney, signed up for the Sept. 10 marathon along with his girlfriend, Charlotte Wood, who would be completing the 26.2-mile race for the first time.

The rain cleared up, and, after a 15-minute delay, the couple started the race alongside the thousands of other runners in the marathon, half marathon and 5K races.

Snyder finished first in just about four hours. Using the Sioux Falls Marathon app to track Wood’s progress, he knew he had about 40 minutes before she reached the finish line.

He hobbled out to his car to get the ring and went back to wait near the finish line.

When Wood was greeted with an engagement ring after finishing 26.2 miles for the first time, she was shocked.

“My brain just shut off,” Wood said. “What do you say? Thank you? I was just shocked. It was just kind of a blur.”

Neither Snyder nor Wood remembers exactly what happened next. She knows she said yes, but they can’t recall any details about the hundreds of racers and spectators around them during the proposal.

“I remember there was clapping. … but once I remember proposing, it just kind of went black,” Snyder said.

Wood, 31, was able to find photos of the proposal captured by other racers through the Sioux Falls Women Run Facebook group.

The finish-line proposal suits the couple perfectly.

The two met online, and after their first date at Monks four years ago, they’ve been together ever since.

Soon after their relationship started, Wood took up running because Snyder was a regular runner.

The two began running races together. He had run the full marathon, and she had run the half, which meant Wood was most often the one at the finish line cheering Snyder on when he finished.

On Sunday, for the first time, he was at the finish line for her.

“I knew he was at the finish, and so that made the last mile easier,” Wood said.

After Sunday, Wood doesn’t plan on running any more full marathons, though she’s already got a few more half marathons planned for the coming months.

“Having finished a marathon is kind of the same as this relationship of ‘one and done,’” Wood said. “I don’t think I’ll run another marathon, and I’ll probably not have another relationship.”


Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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