True love runs deep...or in Phill Berry’s case 26 miles!
The romantic runner had much more on his mind than a well-earned rest when he crossed the finish line at the Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday.
Not long after the gruelling event, Phill proposed to his partner Nikki Fulcher, who had also just taken part in the same race, in front of family and friends.
After getting down on one knee he asked Nikki to be his wife.
And he was understandably overjoyed when she immediately said ‘yes’ - on her 35th birthday!
Phill and Nikki’s year-long romance began after they met through running.
The couple, both 35, who live together in Parish Gardens, Leyland, are members of Preston Harriers running club.
Phill said: “I had a few hints from her a little while ago she would like the idea of getting married. We met around this time last year while training for the Manchester Marathon. I figured the marathon would be a good place to propose.”
Bournemouth-born Phill, who works in IT support for Cultura Technologies in Chorley, had arranged for family and friends to be around after the race as a birthday surprise for Nikki, a primary school, teacher in Bolton.
But of course, there was a much bigger surprise in store for her.
Phil said: “I said, ‘I’ve got something to say to you’, got down on one knee, said ‘I’m very proud of you’ and asked ‘will you marry me’.”
Phill said despite her having some suspicions something might happen leading up to the day, Nikki had no idea he would actually go ahead with the proposal at the race.
“I feel really, really good. It was a very nervous 26.2 miles,” said Phill.
And just for the record - they crossed the line together holding hands.