Sarita Aujla, 29, undertook the most important run of her life last weekend (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
A woman surprised her partner with a proposal by asking him through a map on her running app.
Sarita Aujla, 29, decided she was ready to pop the question to her boyfriend of almost two years, Jack Tench.
But she wasn’t content with a run-of-the-mill proposal – so instead set herself a ‘big, impossible idea’.
Sarita, a charity fundraiser and trustee, told Metro.co.uk: ‘I never really fully understood why men had to propose to women, and why men didn’t get an engagement ring and I thought that was a bit harsh, so I quite liked the idea of proposing.
‘I’m also quite an extroverted, loud person and I wanted to make a grand gesture… a big gesture of love to show the world just how much I love Jack.
‘I was also weighing up that he’s a lot more of an introvert, so probably wanted something much more low key than I thought he would.
‘A huge part of our relationship has been running, and we like Parkrun and running around the world together, and it’s a fun thing we share. I then thought… I wonder if I could run a proposal into Strava?’
She set herself a ‘big, impossible idea’ – to run the question on a map in Strava (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
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Sarita chose Greenwich, south-east London, for the location of her 6.26km run (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
She decided it was time to pop the question to her boyfriend of almost two years, Jack Tench (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
She said she started plotting out in June everywhere she was going to visit with Jack, 31, over the following months – but struggled to find an appropriate place to carry out the task.
She made it even more difficult by wanting to write a full sentence: ‘Jack, will you marry me?’ instead of just a couple of words.
‘But I discovered Greenwich University was enough of a grid system to do it,’ Sarita added.
‘It took me probably the best part of…. four hours looking at maps and drawing on them. Then I had to sit down and draw it all out on Google Maps.’
She said she then had to appoint some helpers to do a practice run the week beforehand using some cones – and to make sure she hadn’t planned her route through any blocked off areas, fences or obstacles.
She also had to hide everything she was doing online so Jack, who she met through mutual friends, didn’t see any of her practice runs.
By Saturday, November 11, she decided she was ready, and headed to south-east London for the most important run of her life.
Sarita had to do a practice run to make sure she didn’t encounter any obstacles along the way (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
She said she was relieved it was a ‘sunny and crisp winter’s day’ (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
Sarita enlisted helpers Lizzie Jones, far left, Emma Breeze, second from left, and Megha Lokesh, far right, to ensure she would succeed in her challenge (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
Despite a couple of hiccups along the way, she was pleased with the outcome (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
Sarita said: ‘I was very relieved because I’d set everything up so it had to happen on that day… luckily it was a beautiful, sunny and crisp winter’s day.’
The first two words of the message went really well, then disaster struck: ‘There was quite a big hiccup in that they were setting up the Greenwich ice rink smack bang where I was going to run “you”…’
She said she had to wrap the letter Y around the scaffolding of the ice rink.
‘Then some children tried to take the cones, bless them,’ she added.
‘But it miraculously went well despite the ice rink, I was so relieved and happy.’
The run was 6.26km (3.89 miles) and took her just under 40 minutes in total to do.
Sarita had then planned to meet Jack for brunch in Greenwich at midday – but without knowing the importance of the situation, he was in no rush to arrive on time.
When he eventually turned up, she took him to the fountain next to the university and then told him to look at her latest run on Strava.
Spoiler alert: Thankfully Jack said yes to Sarita’s big question (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
The couple spent the rest of the day celebrating in Greenwich (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
They plan to tie the knot in December 2024 in a winter wedding (Picture: Sarita Aujla)
As he did that, she got down on one knee and was about to launch into an emotive speech – before he exclaimed, ‘Yes! Yes, I will marry you.’
She said: ‘I haven’t asked you yet!’ and her now-fiancé replied: ‘You have – it’s right here,’ and held up his phone.
Jack, a software engineer, told Metro: ‘Sarita was not happy at all because she had a whole speech planned and hadn’t considered I was immediately going to get the question!
‘I was over the moon happy, and I think I was so surprised by the whole thing – I genuinely didn’t see it coming – that when she was giving the speech, it was going in one ear and out of the other. I was just in shock and so happy, and so excited.
‘I wasn’t paying any attention to anything going on around me – it was all a bit of a blur.
‘The first thing I thought afterwards – I was just so impressed by all the route planning that had gone into it and see how you’d actually pulled it off.
‘Normally on all our adventures cycling, running and hiking around the world, I’m often really involved in the route planning so I can appreciate how complicated it must have been.’
The couple, who live together in Shadwell, east London, had Buck’s Fizz from a pair of engagement mugs and then spent the rest of the day celebrating in Greenwich.
They are now preparing to tie the knot almost one year from now, in December 2024.
Jack added: ‘We’re both so excited for the wedding – so much so, that everything’s already planned.
‘It’s all booked, we know exactly what we’re doing and we’re having a really exciting Christmas wedding next year, which we’re both looking forward to.’
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Sarita Aujla, 29, wasn’t content with a run-of-the-mill engagement.