Unexpected proposal, personal milestones reached at the Rock Hall Half Marathon

Posted at 4:01 PM, Aug 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-20 18:30:32-04

The 3rd Annual Rock Hall Half Marathon started out like any other race—positive vibes, upbeat tunes and great company.

For one Cleveland couple, finishing the race was about more than just receiving a medal.

Cleveland firefighter Brian Mazdia had to run with more thoughts in his head than the average runner.

When he crossed the finish line, he proposed to his girlfriend of three years, Kaytlynn Peecook.

"I'm happy we finished. I'm just so excited. I'm excited," said Peecook who is a nurse at MetroHealth Medical Center.

"We were feeling good all the way up until the end. That last mile was really, really tough. Meg: "Tough because you were nervous?" Brian: "Probably and tired, a little bit of both," Mazdia said.

While it was the first half marathon completed together as a couple, one U.S. history teacher from California reached another milestone.

"This is my 103rd half marathon," said Paula Steinbach.

Steinbach continues to race despite any obstacles put in her way. It's the fourth race she has completed following her double mastectomy in February.

"I just want to prove cancer survivors can do anything they set their hearts on," Steinbach said.

She credits her drive and motivation to the U.S. Navy.

"Without the discipline, I learned in the Navy I wouldn't be able to do anything that I do today and I owe it all to that. It was the best decision I made in my life to join the Navy," Steinbach said.

Nearly 2,500 runners turned out for the event.

Event organizers said they're hoping for an even bigger turnout next year.