Sunderland runner proposes on marathon route

Anglea Graham and Jonathan Dobson. Jonathan proposed to Angela as he took part in the London Marathon.
Anglea Graham and Jonathan Dobson. Jonathan proposed to Angela as he took part in the London Marathon.
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A RUNNER made a marathon effort when he surprised his girlfriend by popping the question.

Jonathan Dobson has tackled the London marathon every year since his wife Christine died of multiple sclerosis in 2005, aged 35.

Anglea Graham and Jonathan Dobson. Jonathan proposed to Angela as he took part in the London Marathon.

Anglea Graham and Jonathan Dobson. Jonathan proposed to Angela as he took part in the London Marathon.

This year, he decided to make the event even more special by proposing to his girlfriend of three years, Angela Graham, during the race.

Jonathan, 47, of Grindon, a quantity surveyor for Newcastle City Council, planned to ask Angela, 47, of Fulwell, around the halfway point – 13 miles –where she was waiting in the crowds.

“I could hear her shouting but she was at the wrong side of the dual carriageway and I couldn’t get across the road to ask her,” said Jonathan, who has raised more than £3,000 for the MS Society and Diabetes UK – which Christine also suffered from.

“I had to wait until I got to mile 23, when I was suffering from exhaustion.

“I could hear her shouting again and ran over to her.

“She didn’t realise why I was stopping, and thought I was retiring from the race.

“I took a deep breath, kissed her and asked if she would marry me. Thankfully, she said yes.”

Angela, who works for Audi Sunderland, said the proposal was emotional.

“I was shocked, and so were the people around me. I said yes and everyone started applauding. I was crying, and other people were actually crying.

“We celebrated afterwards with a bottle of champagne that Jonathan had taken on the trip.”

Jonathan, who has two sons from his previous marriage, Matthew, 18, and Dominic, 15, and Angela, who has three children, Neve, 15, Zack, 14, and Marnie, 12, met on a night out.

“It was simple,” said Jonathan.

“We were on a night out with mutual friends. I was by myself and Angela was by herself, and we just got chatting.

“Since I met her, my life has been complete – she brought happiness back into my life. We have talked about marriage, but she didn’t know when or where I was going to propose.

“We have talked about living together. We can’t wait to make plans for our future as one family.

“We’re going to go and pick a ring today. I didn’t get one because I couldn’t carry it during the race, and I didn’t want to get the wrong one.”