The nine and a half mile point at Milton Keynes Marathon was the unlikely setting for a match made in heaven on Monday.
Romantic runner Simon Kirschner chose precisely that spot to get down on one knee and propose to his girlfriend Victoria Heavens.
The Bletcham Way kerb, sandwiched between Walnut Tree and Browns Wood, had a huge significance .
For it was precisely where the Bradville couple, who are both 33,first met when they were running the marathon last year.
A delighted Victoria told the Citizen: ”A year ago I was running on my own in he pouring rain.
“Now I’m getting married and life couldn’t be more perfect.”
She was part of her corporate relay team last year running for Towergate, where she works as head of operations.
Recently jilted by her fiance shortly before their planned wedding, she felt depressed and wondered if she would ever trust another man.
Simon, a keen marathon and triathlon runner, spotted her at the nine and half mile point as she was waiting for the baton.
Victoria said: “I recognised him from years ago through car clubs – we are both interested in modifying cars. But we’d never said more than a hi to each other.
“He shouted hello when he ran past.
“I looked like a drowned rat and he was soaking wet. But I couldn’t help thinking how attrative he was.”
After the 2012 marathon Victoria befriended Simon on Facebook. And by the end of the year the pair had moved in together.
Simon said: “The moment I saw Victoria at that nine and a half mile point last year, I knew she was the one.
“I planned this proposal really carefully but she had no idea whatsoever.”
He arranged for family and friends to be waiting at the spot to distract her with hugs.
Then he slipped out the white gold and diamond ring, got down on one knee and popped the question.
“It was the most amazing moment,” said Victoria. “I spent most of the rest of the marathon in tears of joy, half walking, half running. We finished together in five hours 55 minutes and 59 seconds.”
Simon even ‘fixed’ their marathon numbers with event organiser Andy Hully to spell out the date of their engagement, His was number six, Victoria’s five, and Andy made up a special 2013 bib.
“We will frame them along with our marathon medals and keep them forever,” vowed Simon.
Marathon round-up, pages 6&7. For gallery and video see our website www.miltonkeynes.co.uk