Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Marathon finish features marriage proposal

EL PASO, Texas – If Alfred Hitchcock was a romantic, he might have written this scenario.

Three years ago, El Pasoan Undarmaa Baasandorj's boyfriend ran his first full marathon at the Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon.

Being originally from Mongolia, Baasandorj didn't realize how big of an accomplishment it was to do this 26.2-mile race. Instead of waiting for her boyfriend, David Negrete, to finish the race and cheer him on when he crossed the finish line, she went shopping and missed the big moment.

So, this year, she decided to take a huge step to make up for that initial mistake from when they first started dating.On Sunday, she carried colorful balloons and a sign asking Negrete to marry her.

Negrete was running the full marathon again but was tipped off by his friends that his girlfriend was about to propose to him at the finish area, said wedding planner Nancy Bustillos with Dream Weddings and Events at Angie's Flowers.

So about a quarter-mile from the finish, Negrete stopped and put on a dress shirt and tie, grabbed some flowers and finished the race. When he crossed the finish line, he dropped down on his knees and asked Baasandorj to marry him.

“I wanted to do the switcheroo on her,” he said. “I just wanted to surprise her.”

And surprise her he did. They embraced, she said “yes” to the proposal and they went off to an engagement party that had already been set up.

It was the second wedding proposal in the marathon's eight-year history, race organizers said.

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