WATCH: The finish line at this year’s GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon is only the start of the journey that lies ahead for two runners competing for the first time. Ceilidh Millar reports.
It’s been a memorable Thanksgiving weekend for Jordan Caldwell of Victoria.
The 32-year-old Red Seal Chef took part in and completed his first full length marathon at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon.
Having grown up playing AAA hockey for the Victoria Racquet Club Kings and Junior with the Saanich Braves, the former all-star goal scorer is familiar with being an athlete, but never of this calibre.
“I’ve never ran a 10 km or a half marathon,” said Caldwell. “I think every person wants to see if they can accomplish something.”
However, waiting for Caldwell at the finish line will be something he’s waited a long time to do.
“It’s impossible for me not to finish this race,” Caldwell said in an interview ahead of the marathon.
In 2015, Caldwell met Tara Brunet, 27, a fitness aficionado and personal trainer from Central Saanich on a dating site.
“She’s pretty good at inspiring me to do stuff I didn’t think was possible to do,” Caldwell explained. “It’s because of her I decided to do this marathon and now we get to continue on our lives together.”
On a trip to California earlier this year the pair attended a five-day motivational speaking conference, in which sparked a desire to achieve a lifelong goal – run a marathon.
The two have spent the last six months training together in the hopes of ticking the item off their list.
What Brunet didn’t know, is that Caldwell had an extra trick up his sleeve.
“My goal for this race is to physically be able to get down to one knee and physically able to get back up,” Caldwell said.
After crossing the finish line, Caldwell was handed a wedding ring by his father Jamie – who was among the many friends and family unknowingly waiting to celebrate – and dropped to a knee to ask for her hand in marriage.
“I have no words,” said Tara Brunet. “I’m so excited for our future together.”