AS far as proposals go, most people would call Martin Rolfe’s attempt a runaway success – literally.
The 28-year-old wanted to ask his girlfriend to marry him in a unique way, so hit upon the idea of mapping out the words ‘will you marry me’ by running a specific route using a running app on a tracker watch.
He did the run on Sunday – roughly 11.5km – and asked Fatma Turk to upload the results from his watch to the computer.
And with a bit of prompting, she got the message.
Martin, of Selden Road, Worthing, said: “First she commented on what a funny route it was, but when I said ‘doesn’t it look like words?’ she picked out a couple, and by the time she turned round I was down on one knee.”
The 26-year-old said yes straight away, but the pair have yet to set a wedding date as they want to complete the purchase of their first house together first.
Martin had not been running for a few months, and said the run was hard going, but said he would recommend other people try out an unusual proposal, adding: “It couldn’t have gone better, so I’m really happy.
“I did get a few strange looks when I was running up and down people’s roads, but it was worth it.”
Fatma and Martin met while working together at Capgemini, and celebrated their two-year anniversary on Friday.
Martin said he deliberately timed the run after their anniversary, to throw her off the scent.
“I don’t think she was expecting it, because I think she thought if anything was going to happen, it would happen on our anniversary, as we had gone away for the weekend to Canturbury.”
As well as coming up with an unusual way to propose, Martin also surprised Fatma by asking her to marry him in Turkish, her native language.
He added: “She understood exactly what I was saying, and even said my accent was good, which was great.”
Fatma said she was thrilled Martin proposed in such a ‘special’ way.
She said: “It was definitely a big surprise, I wasn’t expecting it at all.
“On Friday, it was our two-year anniversary and we went away, so when we went out for meals and nothing happened, I assumed it wasn’t going to, as that’s when I thought it was likely.
“Sunday was just a normal day, we were back home doing normal things, and Martin said he was going for a run.
“He hadn’t been for about a year, but he said he was going to get fit again, so I didn’t think anything of it.
“When he got back, he was pretty tired, and I asked him why he had pushed himself so much, but he said why don’t you check out my route, so I loaded his tracker onto the computer.
“Because I wasn’t expecting it, I couldn’t see it immediately, but then I saw the words ‘you’ and ‘me’. Then I spotted ‘will’, but I was too embarrssed to say anything in case I was wrong, but then I turned round and he had a smile on his face and asked me the question.
“I‘m always trying to get him to say Turkish words, and his accent isn’t always right, but I was so impressed as this was perfect.
“I’ve always known Martin is a thoughtful guy, but I’m so touched he proposed in this way.”
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