AKRON, Ohio — Justin Daubenmire and Hannah Uveges started dating in November of 2021 and began training for their first marathon in April.
Daubenmire, of Seville, likes to joke that there's no better way to figure out if "she's the one" than training together for 26.2 miles.
"You're sweaty. You're gross. You're tired. You're frustrated. You're super high. You're super low and you go through that journey as you're training for this marathon," he said.
Uveges, of Cleveland, originally suggested that the two run a half marathon, but when her boyfriend said he didn't want to do "half of anything", they signed up for the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon.
They followed a six-month challenging and time-consuming program to reach their goal.
"It gave us time with no distractions. Nothing but the two of us out in nature somewhere," Uveges said.
In July, Daubenmire decided he was ready to pop the question and formulated a plan to make marathon day even more memorable.
He bought Uveges an oval-cut, diamond engagement ring and carried the precious piece of jewelry inside his zipped left shorts pocket for the entire 26.2 miles of the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon.
He isn't sure just how many times he checked to make sure the ring stay secured during the run on Saturday morning.
"So many times," he said. "I was just trying to touch my pocket to make sure like that little lump was still there, so I knew for sure that it would still be there."
Meanwhile, Uveges continued to churn out the miles blissfully unaware that the surprise of her life was coming.
"I had no idea what was going on at that point," she said.
Uveges would find out at the finish line. With several family members watching and cameras capturing both video and images, the couple completed the marathon in a little more than five hours.
After a big, long hug, Daubenmire began fishing in his pocket for that ring.
"I turned around and when he started pulling me towards him, that's when it kind of clicked something was happening and I was just over the moon," Uveges said.
Daubenmire was exhausted but mustered up the energy to get down on one knee to propose.
"My whole thing was I couldn't do this without you. I don't want to do anything else without you," he said.
"I remember him grabbing my hands and just saying that he couldn't have got through the race without me and that he didn't want to do anything else without me in life and asked me to marry him," Uveges recalled.
Of course, she said yes, and the first marathon for both of them became a run they'll never forget.
"To have so many friends and family there and all the pictures and videos and attention has actually been a lot of fun for us," Uveges said.
"I think it's something we'll look back on through our whole lives. We'll always look back and say if we did that together, we can get through anything together, Daubenmire said.
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