When Angie Frames’ boyfriend pulled her away from the crowd just short of the finish line at last year’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race, she worried something was wrong. It was hot out, and the Alabama couple was almost done running the 10-kilometer race. Was he about to pass out? she wondered.
Then, Izzy Gould got on one knee.
“Life is a lot like a race, and just like this race, I want to finish life with you,” Izzy said, holding an engagement ring. A race photographer caught the proposal on camera, and Angie said yes.
A year later, Angie (now Angie Gould), 49, and Izzy, 45, are back in Atlanta, married and racing the Peachtree once more.
The couple’s relationship had grown and flourished through long, early morning runs, so the Peachtree seemed like an opportune venue for the proposal, Izzy Gould said in an interview Tuesday.
“When we both lotteried into the Peachtree, it made a lot of sense to me because we met through running,” he said. “We remember the first day we met each other, how our relationship evolved, how we counseled each other.”
In July 2015, Izzy Gould was convinced by a friend to join a Saturday run with the Birmingham Track Club. When the run’s organizer learned he was new to the group, he asked what Izzy’s pace was. Long a solitary runner, Izzy had no idea, but then he saw Angie, the pacer for the group that would run nine-minute miles.
“I thought, ‘I can follow her,’” he said.
He joined the group of runners following Angie, sticking out like a sore thumb with headphones in, phone in hand and constantly running ahead of the group. They both remember Angie “needling” Izzy once they got to the first water break on the seven-mile run, poking fun at him for not sticking with the pack.
Soon after, they connected again in an early morning run group, meeting a few times a week around 5 a.m. Angie liked to start before the group assembled, getting a mile or so in early so she could leave on time for work. Once Izzy realized that, he offered to join her, Angie said.
“He said, ‘Hey, it’s not safe for you to do that by yourself. I’ll come run with you,’” she said.
The two, both married to other people at the time, became running partners. The early morning runs helped them form a close bond and have conversations Izzy likened to therapy.
“What we learned through running and whatnot is that we were both unhappy in our marriages, both unhappy in where we were, and we counseled each other through that,” Izzy said.
Each eventually got divorced from their then-spouses, and pursued their own romantic connection. After running the Louisiana Marathon in January 2018, they went shopping in the French Quarter in New Orleans for an engagement ring. Angie knew the proposal was coming eventually, but she assumed Izzy would pop the question at the Birmingham Track Club’s regular meeting place in Homewood, Alabama, where they first met. But Izzy had another idea brewing.
Izzy knew he could carry the ring in his pocket during the race, and that photographers would be on hand throughout the Peachtree course. He waited until they were close to the finish where photographers are clustered to snap shots of runners crossing the line and chose that moment to ask.
The pictures show Izzy on one knee and Angie smiling ear-to-ear as runners pass in the background; then Angie saying yes and bending down to give her new fiance a kiss before the couple finished the race together.
“I was euphoric,” Angie said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
They got married in June, 11 months after the finish line engagement. Happily living in Hoover, Ala., Izzy and Angie are still active in the Birmingham running community. On July 4 they’re running their first Peachtree Road Race as husband and wife.
“We fell in love as runners, so of course we got engaged at the biggest race ever,” Angie said of the Peachtree, which is known as the world’s largest 10k race. “It’s very special to us, and we hope we can do it year after year.”
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