Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vineman Race Report - Part 4

I crossed the finish line with only one thing on my mind. I needed to find my dad and I need to find Kristine. I scanned the crowd and didn't see either of them, so I made a beeline through the finisher's area to the nearest exit.

My family and friends quickly cluster around, with Kristine rushing in from where she had been watching at the beginning of the finishing straight. I gave her a hug a tight hug and held her there for a while - I had to buy time for my dad to make his way over.

After a few moments, he got there and swiftly handed me something very special behind Kristine's back: a ring.

The handoff

I broke the hug and started talking. Despite having had plenty of time (more than ten hours!) to go over what I wanted to say, I still forgot half of it. I was a bit lost in the moment, but what I said was something like:
"Kristine, ever since you walked me home after the race in Australia, I knew that where ever I walk would be home so long as I'm with you. I know we've taken some big steps in the past few months, and I've taken a whole lot of steps today, but I don't want to take another step without you by my side."
One knee

I don't think she really realized what was about to happen until I got down on one knee (no easy feat after an Ironman!) and held the ring up. Everyone around shouted happily; my sisters danced with excitement. I looked into her eyes and asked, "Kristine Marigomen, will you marry me?"

"YES!" she shouted, "Yes!" (Video.)

Disbelief

Then we hugged again, and the congratulations began. Mom had tears in her eyes. Kara and Lauren could hardly believe it. Kristine was beaming from ear to ear. It was absolutely perfect.

She said yes.

You can't ask for a better Ironman finish than that.

On to part five.