Steps after crossing the finish line at the GEICO Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon, Kyle Franks tried to stop and drop to one knee, but couldn’t. Runners sprinting past the timing mat kept pushing him back.
Finally, about 20 yards down the chute, Franks moved to one side and stopped his girlfriend, Jessica Cornett, who also ran the half marathon.
“I’m really tired,” Franks said to Cornett, “but I’ve got to ask you a question.”
And with that, he dropped to his left knee.
“Are you really doing this?” said Cornett.
And with that, Franks said the four words that moved Cornett to tears: “Will you marry me?”
“Yes, of course,” replied Cornett. “I love you!”
The couple lives in Russell, Ky. Cornett, 35, works in a hospital lab. Franks, 33, is a veterinarian. Franks carried the engagement ring the entire 13.1 miles, safely tucked away in a box in his right pocket. They’ve been dating for six months, although Cornett says he’s been pursuing her for 18 months.
“He was my best friend,” said Cornett, explaining why it took a while for the relationship to turn serious. “Once you cross that line you can’t go back.”
Cornett’s engagement ring was distinct, featuring a beautiful dark blue diamond. Still stunned minutes after the race, Cornett stuck out her left hand, admired the bling and said, “It is so pretty. He did a good job.”