A ROMANTIC Sheffield runner proposed to his overjoyed girlfriend just before the finish line of the London Marathon.
James Anderson, aged 27, from Kelham Island, carried the engagement ring round the 26-mile course before he spotted Samantha Fielding in the crowd, 500 yards before the end of the race.
The sweaty runner then got down on bended knee to pop the question to his partner of six years and – to his great relief – she accepted.
“It had been a long time in the planning,” said James, who manages the Las Iguanas restaurant at Meadowhall.
“My sister made sure she was in the right place – I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find her!
“I was already buzzing from the race, but it was amazing when she said yes.
“I ran the last 500 yards carrying a banner which my sister made which said, ‘She said ‘Yes’.’ I got some great cheers!”
James and Samantha, also 27, a nurse at the Northern General Hospital, are planning to marry in Sheffield by the end of the year.
But before then they are concentrating on their move to Freedom Road in Walkley, where they have bought a house.
And James is busy collecting his sponsorship money from the marathon, which he ran for the Prostate and Breast Cancer charities.
Also running in London was Sheffield High School teacher Clare Wallace, who completed the marathon with her cello on her back.
Claire was running in aid of the spinal injuries charity Aspire with her fellow Xtreme Cellists, James Rees and Jeremy Dawson. The trio hope to raise a total of £11,000 for Aspire through their efforts.
Former High Storrs headteacher Cheryle Berry, 63, ran her 12th London Marathon, and hopes to raise £2,000 for St John Ambulance. She completed the course in six hours 36 minutes.
And Alison Purvis-Gisborne from Dronfield completed the course in just 4 hours 20 mins – a fantastic achievement considering she used to weigh nearly 20 stone and struggled to run anywhere.
Alison, a sports physiology lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, shed a staggering nine stone in the lead-up to the race, and has raised more than £1,000 for Kidney Research UK.
Sally Wheelhouse, running her first, raised £400 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.