In a time where many people run away from marriage, one Baton Rouge resident did the exact opposite. He, quite literally, ran towards it.
Ben Randow, 41, proposed to his fiance at the Louisiana Half Marathon in Baton Rouge on January 18th. Randow, a chef, lagged behind his girlfriend, Davina Witte, as they were both approaching the finish line. Witte, 39, noticed that Randow was fidgeting with his running belt.
“We were holding hands, and he stopped short,” she said.
The couple has run many races together, and always make a habit of holding hands as they’re about to finish a race. Randow usually finishes the race before her, so he goes back to Witte’s position and crosses the finish line with her, hand-in-hand.
This time, however, Randow went one step further — as it were. After the two made it across the finish line, Randow finally retrieved the object he was rummaging for. Shortly after running more than 13 miles, he stopped, got on his knees, and proposed to a shocked Witte. Her response pleased him.
“I answered, ‘Yes,'” she said. “‘Yes, yes of course.'”
It is quite common for runners to give gifts before or after a race to their friends and loved ones — although usually not as serious a gift as an engagement ring.
As for Witte and Randow, running holds a special place in the couple’s lives, since it is what brought the two together. Although they had attended the same college and even been acquainted in high school, their romance didn’t really get off the ground until they connected on Facebook.
Having gleaned from her posts that Witte was a runner, Randow took up the sport himself in 2013, and eventually entered a 5K that he knew she’d be participating in.
“It was the only way to meet her face-to-face,” he said. “It was an excuse to see her.”