AUSTIN, Texas - For many who raced in this year's marathon, the goal was to either win it all or just to make it through all 26 miles. For one runner, he says his prize was waiting for him at the finish line, but it wasn't a medal.
Mark Pinales finished the 2020 Austin Marathon in 3 hours placing 34th overall out of 2,853 runners.
Many runners are just focused on pushing through, but Pinales had something else on his mind.
“I checked it every probably about every two, three minutes,” said Pinales.
He is talking about an engagement ring. Pinales kept it in his pocket the whole time he was running the 26 miles.
“I had a crazy amount of stress and way too much anxiety that it is gonna pop out for some random reason,” said Pinales.
It was all for his girlfriend of two and a half years who was waiting for him at the finish line.
“When he finally came and I gave him a hug,” said Tiffani Nguyen.
Nguyen had no idea what was about to come next.
“He says I want to be with you forever and I was like ‘well, yeah ok you won!’ Then he got down on one knee, and I was like ‘what!’” she said.
Pinales wanted to claim first place in this marathon but says he doesn’t mind because his fiancee is his real prize.
“Regardless of what happened today on the race, this was the whole purpose of it and I couldn't be happier,” said Pinales.