Monday, March 26, 2001

Runner doesn't flee from marriage proposal after race

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Paul Preston hadn't run the Heart Mini-Marathon in Cincinnati before. His bold idea for his first Heart was to give his away.

        Mr. Preston proposed to girlfriend Shari Mirras at the finish line Sunday of the Humana/- ChoiceCare Heart Mini-Marathon annual fund-raiser for the American Heart Association.

        They ran the 15K race together, alongside 11,000 other participants.

        “Shari runs marathons all the time, and I just wanted to do something very unique,” Mr. Preston said. “I just wanted to catch her off-guard.”

        Mr. Preston's friends held a “Shari, will you marry me?” banner, while other friends held the engagement ring and two dozen red roses for him to present.

        Mr. Preston said he and Ms. Mirras are training for the Flying Pig Marathon on May 6. They ran the 15K Sunday in about an hour and 40 minutes. Mr. Preston, 35, and Ms. Mirras, 30, both live in West Chester.

        Oh, by the way, she said yes.

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