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MCM Finish Brings about Exciting New Beginning for Runner
Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) runners often sport fuel belts stocked with water, energy gels and other essentials to carry them through 26.2 miles. In addition to the expected running staples 2011 MCM participant Adam Thorpe, of Boston, MA, filled his fuel belt with a unique, non-traditional item: a diamond ring.
In addition to completing his first full marathon, Thorpe, 29, had a very important mission at the MCM on Oct. 30. After finishing the marathon, Thorpe planned to propose to Adriane Carozza, his girlfriend of three and a half years. She would be waiting for him at the finish after she completed the MCM10K.
Upon learning in mid-August that a bib was available through charity partner Team Red, White and Blue, Thorpe decided to sign up. A veteran of half marathons and century rides, he was looking to run a full marathon but desired to run for reasons other than just to finish. The MCM fit the bill; he raised over $600 for Team RWB and running in Washington, D.C. would allow his girlfriend’s family to be there for the couple’s special moment.
“I wanted to do something memorable for our engagement,” says Thorpe. “My fiancé’s family is from the area, it’s the nation’s capital, and it was a commitment not only for me but to her and our love.”
Prior to departing Boston for the MCM, Thorpe picked up the ring at the jewelers where he had left it for safekeeping since September. For motivation throughout the final weeks of marathon training, Thorpe paid weekly visits to the ring. The motivation the ring provided prompted him to carry it on the MCM course.
“I thought it [the ring] would make me run faster and take my mind off any pain or discomfort,” says Thorpe. “I had the ring in my water pack waist belt. I think I checked it every mile or so!”
Thorpe crossed the finish line with a time of 5:03:09 and made his way through runner hospitality. With the marathon finish achieved, he set out to find Adriane and accomplish his second goal for the day. The two met up and proceeded to the MCM Finish Festival, where they found Carozza’s parents, Pete and Paula, her sister and several friends who were eagerly awaiting the proposal. After some post-race stretching and awkward silence from the anxious onlookers, Thorpe made his move.
“She stood up and I held both of her hands and told her … ‘A marathon is a lot like being in love, it’s long and hard, but every step you take is beautiful and at the end it’s amazing,’” he recalls. “I then slowly knelt down and asked her to marry me. She was beyond shocked and was lost for words. I remember someone from the crowd yell ‘say yes so he can get off his knee!’”
Carozza accepted and the couple plans to wed on Nov. 10, 2012 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where they first connected. Running will continue to be an activity they share through their engagement and marriage. Thorpe and Carozza were both non-runners until their first 5K in July of 2010. Since that time, they have enjoyed running as a pair and now have completed over a dozen races together.
“We like to run together,” says Thorpe. “It gives us something fun to do as a couple.”
Knowing that he was going to pop the question at the finish made Thorpe’s MCM experience truly memorable. Energy and emotions carried him along the entire MCM course.
“My emotions took over a few times at the beginning and towards the end I think I was tearing up,” he admits. “I kept praying that I didn’t drop the ring. It would have been rough if I had to backtrack 26.2 miles.”
As the backdrop of their proposal, the MCM will remain a part of their lives together. The couple plans to return for the 2012 MCM.
“We hope to obtain bibs next year so we can complete the marathon together,” says Thorpe. “It will be a great way to celebrate our engagement and to de-stress before the wedding … I can’t wait to run the 37th MCM with my fiancé next year!”