TRAVERSE CITY — Erin Patton had this vision.
“Back when I ran cross country in high school, my girlfriends and I, on long runs, used to talk about our ideal engagement,” she said. “I thought it would so fun after a marathon because you’re so happy, so euphoric and then you can go eat whatever you want.”
So guess what happened Saturday?
Patton’s boyfriend, Chris Brede, proposed to her on the track at Traverse City Central after the two finished the Bayshore Marathon.
“This was one of her ideas — to get proposed to after a marathon,” Brede said. “And we both had our best times so that made it better.”
Patton finished in 3:20:09, Brede in 3:20:10.
Even though Patton had talked about it, the moment still caught her by surprise.
What made it even more special is that their best friends were here, too.
“Great race, beautiful site, very exciting,” Patton said, clutching a bouquet of flowers.
Brede said there was just one thing that could have gone better.
“I was a little exhausted to give a proper speech,” he said. “But she said yes, I think, if I remember right.”
Patton hails from Ann Arbor, Brede from Cleveland. How did they end up at Bayshore?
“Our families vacation up here,” Patton said. “And we had always heard great things about this race.”
And what about the race?
“She didn’t try to trip me or anything,” Brede said, laughing. “That was nice.”
FAMILY AFFAIR: Kevin Holt grabbed his 2-year-old son Bryce as he entered the Traverse City Central track Saturday, heading for the finish line in the half marathon.
Not long after, Holt’s wife Sharon, and their 4-year-old daughter Adolie, came in — with Kevin and Bryce right there as well.
The Bayshore has become a Memorial weekend tradition for the Holts.
“We’ve done every one since the inception, minus one when we didn’t register in time,” Kevin said. “We love it up here. Every year it (race) gets better and better and better. It’s so well organized and the weather is usually good. Even if it’s bad it’s a good place to be.”
Sharon even ran the half marathon when she was pregnant with Adolie and then Bryce.
“This is the most beautiful race in the world,” Sharon said. “We want them (children) to be part of it.”
For five years, Sharon was part of Team Hope, a network that raised funds for a rehabilitation center in East Lansing. The parents would enter the race, too.
On Saturday, Kevin’s mother ran the half.
“When my wife did Team Hope my mom would come up and run the 10K,” he said. “She swore that was it, the 10K was her limit. Last year we got her to run a half. She swore it was her last one. She’s back this year, running it again.”