I said “Yes!”

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From the Desk of Co-Director Jan Seeley

I love capers involving race weekend, especially wedding proposals. For race weekend 2015, our media director Cheryle Turner was in cahoots with two runners planning to surprise their brides-to-be with finish line proposals During the Friday night 5K, Cheryle guarded with her life the diamond ring in her pocket as she waited to connect with Ryan Rauch at the finish. Sadly, with the mid-race stoppage in our marathon the next day, our second couple never had their finish-line proposal moment (but we hear they are happily married). Here is Alicia (Pettyjohn) Rauch’s brief recounting of that special day—and the impact the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon race weekend has had on her life.

I Said “Yes!”
The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon race holds a very special place in my heart. In 2009, I discovered my love for running, and after training I completed my first 5K race. Back then, I didn’t comprehend the concept of people actually wanting to pay to run! I eventually worked my up to running the marathon as part of race weekend. In 2015, my boyfriend, Ryan Rauch, and I ran our first 5K together. After finishing we were immediately asked to be interviewed for the newspaper. Little did I know this was going to be a life-changing moment. After five years, the love of my life asked me to marry him—on the finish line stage, in front of everyone in Memorial Stadium! Ryan embraced how much running has impacted my life. It was a moment I will never forget. Our wedding day was September 10, 2016. The 2017 race weekend will be my fourth Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon and eighth year running an event. A huge “Thank You” to all the individuals and volunteers who make this race possible every year.