Anyone at the Wings for Life World Run starting line in Kakheti, Georgia on May 8 could see that there was something special between runner 84536 and runner 84541. But when Beka Gigauri got down on one knee and proposed to Elene Jadugishvili just as the race was about to begin – and she accepted – the runners went wild with cheers, and the emotional moment became one of the highlights of the day.
We caught up with Beka to find out what prompted his unusual proposal and how things have been going since then.
Hi Beka, congratulations on your successful proposal! Given how many people witnessed the moment, you must have heard from a lot of well-wishers.
Thank you! Yes, people who saw or heard the proposal were congratulating us throughout the whole race, and then afterward the official video also made us popular.
Tell us a little about yourself. What do you and Elene do when you’re not running for those who can’t?
I’m a specialist in information technology and work as manager in that sphere, and also my brother and I recently founded a tourism company, Your Georgia. My fiancée Elene is a lawyer.
How long have you and Elene been together?
Our relationship began one year ago, and we wish to continue for a long time!
Then it’s easy to see why you wanted to propose, but why did you do it at a charity run?
The idea came to me after I registered for the Wings for Life World Run. This was not my first surprise for her, but for the proposal I wanted to do something that she would never imagine, and the event organizers gave me the opportunity to implement my idea to create an unforgettable day for Elene. I want to thank everyone who helped to make it possible.
You must have had some adrenaline pumping when you popped the question! After such big excitement, did you still have energy to race?
Our results reflect that endorphins gave us power! We had wings for that run in Kakheti – Elene ran 5 kilometers and I ran 14 kilometers.
And what’s next?
We’ve set our main wedding ceremony for the beginning of September, and every day we’re brainstorming for our wedding party.
Will you be celebrating the anniversary of your proposal when the Wings for Life World Run returns to Kakheti on May 7, 2017?
The way I see it, this is the largest charity event all over the world. I will participate – and not only next year – because it’s a very emotional event for me and has become one of the symbols of my little family.
Be like Beka and feel the emotion! Pre-registration for the Wings for Life World Run 2017, including the race in Kakheti, Georgia, is open now.
Daniel Ricciardo, Race number 1 and Formula 1 driver
Giorgio Calcaterra, Italian ultra-runner and winner in Italy 2015
Wings for Life foundation