Stevenage 'fridge marathon runner' proposes to girlfriend on mile 25

  • Watch the moment Daniel Fairbrother pulls over from running the London marathon with a fridge on his back to propose to his girlfriend, Hayley.

A fridge-carrying London Marathon runner kept his cool after proposing to his girlfriend during this year’s race - keeping the engagement ring wrapped in toilet roll as he ran around the capital.

Daniel Fairbrother, 35, from Stevenage chose Big Ben at mile 25 as a backdrop when he popped the question to his partner, Hayley Holden, 34.

With a 26kg fridge, which he nicknamed Tallulah, on his back, onlookers witnessed a wobbly moment as he got down on one knee and asked Hayley to marry him.

The proposal was captured on camera and has since gone viral, with many onlookers cheering and congratulating the couple.

The moment she said 'Yes'. Hayley holden accepts boyfriend, Daniel Fairbrother's proposal during the London marathon. Credit: Daniel Fairbrother

Mr Fairbrother, said: "I knew from the minute I got my spot in the marathon that I was going to do it.

"We actually celebrated our one-year anniversary being together just four days before the marathon so it felt right.

"Representing Diabetes UK, one of the advantages to that is that they had two major cheer points - one near Tower Bridge and one near Big Ben.

"From a selfish point of view, I chose Big Ben at mile 25 thinking it would spur me on.

"We arranged for everyone to be there and managed to keep it a surprise.

"I got there and the emotions took over, I can't really remember what I said or did, but the next thing I was down on one knee and asking her to marry me."

It was a happy ending for Mr Fairbrother who encountered a few problems while training for the 26.2-mile event.

On one occasion, police stopped him in his home town of Stevenage believing he was stealing the appliance as he went on a training run with the fridge strapped to his back.

He said: "I got my spot, running with a fridge, and I thought how do you train? I'll put a fridge on my back and let's see what happens.

"It was literally me second ever training run, it was a dark night, really cold, I'm running through Stevenage and this police car just passed me and I remember thinking, they're going to stop me.

"Sure enough, next thing they are beside me with their blue lights illuminated.

"I was really embarrassed, everyone was looking at me and I'm like 'Look I can explain this, I'm not crazy, there is reason for this'.

"They were really good sports actually, it ended up with them shaking my hand, wishing me all the best and sending me on my way."

All of that gruelling training was to try to help Mr Fairbrother not only complete the marathon but to beat a world record for running the distance carrying a fridge.

"There's a Royal Marine called Sam who set the world record last year - a very, very respectable world record, it was 4hrs 52 minutes and I saw that on the news last year and I thought to myself: 'I'll give that a go, how hard can it be?'

"It turns out very hard. I did in in 5hrs 59 minutes.

"So, unfortunately I didn't set a new record, but I walk away with my head held high."

After a whirlwind 24 hours, it was back to the day job today for Mr Fairbrother, who works in sales for a local timber merchant.

He said: "Considering I've just run the marathon with a fridge on my back, I feel pretty good.

"I'm a strong believer if you sit down and take that time to relax your body doesn't like it, that's when your body starts to seize up."

He praised the atmosphere created by supporters along the course.

"When you're feeling low, when you want to give up, when you want to stop and you get the crowd cheer and scream your name, it makes such a difference and to be honest that's really the only thing that carried me through," he added.

After completing the marathon and getting engaged on the same day, Mr Fairbrother says he is still processing all of his emotions.

He said: "It was a hard day, but I'm on cloud nine."

And of Tallulah the fridge, when asked what would happen to her now the race was over, he said: "One of my problems is I never know when to say enough is enough, so I've already signed up for another race with Tallulah.

"On 6 July I'll be doing a 100km ultra marathon in the Peak District with her."

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