Running 13.1 miles is a big achievement, but a marriage proposal at the end certainly takes things to the next level. 

Chesterfield Half Marathon runner Gary Greatorex gave girlfriend Claire Hamson the surprise of her life by getting down on one knee at the Queens Park finish line to present her with an engagement ring. 

When Gary (36) and Claire (34), who live in New Tupton, decided to run the half marathon to raise money for Bluebell Wood, little did Claire know what Gary had in mind. 

Claire said: “I had no idea whatsoever he was planning this. When we got to the end of the half marathon, I thought he was tying his shoe laces, but then I saw his big grin and the ring. I was so shocked but then really happy and excited. 

“We have been together for ten months and have been friends since we were kids. During the race, Gary was excited but kept checking that the ring was still there. He even texted my dad at mile ten to ask for permission, so he had to check his phone while running towards the finish line to make sure dad had said it was OK. 

“We decided to run for Bluebell Wood as it’s an amazing charity that helps children and their families through really hard times. 

“I’ve started to do a little bit of wedding planning, but Gary hasn’t thought past the proposal.” 

Lucy Rathbone, Community Fundraiser for Bluebell Wood in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, said: “We were so pleased when we heard two of our runners had got engaged in such an amazing way. We’d like to thank them for running for Bluebell Wood families, and send them our huge congratulations.”