A romantic runner literally fell head over heels after he proposed to his girlfriend halfway through the London Marathon – when he passed out half a mile from the finish line.
Lovestruck Gregg Clark, 25, went down on one knee to a cheering crowd at the 12-mile mark and proposed to girlfriend Lydia Solomon, 25.
Stunned fundraiser Lydia immediately accepted the proposal before sending her fit fiance back out to finish the 26-mile race.
But Gregg became overheated – as his core body temperature rocketed to 43 degrees Celsius – and he passed out only half a mile from the finish line.
Gregg, a TV producer, from Clapham, London, said: ”For 12 miles I was so excited and as I got closer I kept saying to myself, ‘In 20 minutes you’re going to be engaged,’ and then, ‘In ten minutes you’re going to be engaged’.
”I weaved my way through the runners and I ran to Lydia and went to kiss her and she was saying, ‘Go on! You’re making good time!’
”But I thought, I’d been planning it for a year so I wasn’t not going to do it.
”It felt like it took forever but I got down and my legs started to go. I fumbled for the ring and I was shaking.”
Gregg, who was running for Lydia’s charity The Sick Children’s Trust, slipped the diamond ring on her finger when she said ‘yes’ and then ”ran on air” towards the finish line.
But he collapsed within sight of the finish gate and was taken by medical staff to an emergency tent.
He said: ”The excitement of everything and the heat of the day – it just sort of got to me.
”I was in the last turn of the race towards the finish line and my body just completely shut down.
”I remember four guys carrying me on a stretcher to the medical tent. They had to cool me down because my core temperature went through the roof.
”I spent about two and a half hours there stabilising. But then I turned to the doctors and said, ‘Look, I’m going back out there.’ ”
Marathon staff took the determined runner to where he’d collapsed so he could walk the last half-mile of the course and run across the finish line.
He fell into Lydia’s arms six hours and 35 minutes after starting the race.
Lydia, from Stonehouse, Glos., said: ”It’s my job to organise fundraising and I was there to look after our marathon runners, and Gregg was one of those.
”We had a cheering point set up at about the 12 mile point, so he knew where we were going to be.
”I completely wasn’t expecting it at all, I was really just stunned. What happened in a couple of seconds felt like ages.
”We were shocked to look at the video after because it was only about 40 seconds, but at the time it felt like forever.
”It was obviously a yes, and then he ran off and I couldn’t stop crying for ten minutes.
”It’s still sinking in but it was definitely the greatest moment of my life.”