See the 'heart-stopping moment' Suffolk runner proposed to girlfriend during London Marathon
PUBLISHED: 19:49 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:47 25 April 2017
A romantic Suffolk father took a moment to catch his breath before getting down on one knee on the final stretch of his first ever London Marathon.
Hundreds of spectators looked on as Luke Catchpole, who lives in Shotley and works at Dale Hall Community Primary School in Ipswich, proposed to his girlfriend Nikita Miller just four miles from the finish line on Sunday.
Miss Miller, 30, stood with Luke’s parents in the crowd and thought he had fallen over when he bent down.
The newly engaged mum was worried he would not be able to continue the race – but just seconds later, she noticed the ring box in his hand.
Recalling the “heart-stopping moment”, Luke said: “It was absolutely amazing. It was my first marathon and I’d only finished 18 mile races before it so when it got to that point it was starting to get really tough.
“Me and my dad had arranged for me to propose at mile 20 but when I didn’t see my parents and Nikita there cheering me on I started to worry and the running got even harder.
“But when I turned the corner at mile 22 I saw them and I just got down on one knee, shaking and thankfully she said yes.
He added: “It really was the most amazing feeling, one of the best moments of my life so far.
“A truly heart-stopping moment.”
The 26-year-old, father to Rita-Ann, two, and stepfather to Harry-lloyd, eight, was running the marathon to collect cash for Ipswich Hospital’s Somersham ward. Nurses and doctors there looked after his grandparents while they were battling cancer.
Speaking last night, Nikita said: “We are so proud of him for running and we all turned out to support him.
“When he got down on one knee I just couldn’t believe it – me and my friends were actually talking about proposals the day before so it was just bizarre that it happened the next day.
“I was saying, ‘he won’t even think of doing that’ and here we are just a day later and we’re engaged.
“I’m still in shock, it was just crazy. I immediately said yes and was shaking. When we were on the way back on the tube Luke’s mum Carol (Catchpole) was telling everyone who’d listen.”
Donate to Luke’s fundraising page here.