Norville Rogers had big plans for Sunday's Crystal Cove Marathon.
Unbeknownst to Daphne Blake, his girlfriend of 18 months, tucked away in the 27-year-old's waist pack was a diamond engagement ring. At mile 13.1, the halfway point, Rogers would slow to a walk, kneel before Blake, and ask for her hand in marriage.
That's exactly what he did—and everything went according to plan, until Blake said "no."
"I think her exact words were 'God no,'" said Hanna Barbera, 33, a spectator who watched the bungled proposal as it happened. "Like for emphasis."
After an uncomfortable silence, witnesses said, the two rejoined the race.
"It was super awkward," Barbera said.
Friends and family gathered at the halfway point, waiting with cell phone cameras and sparkling apple juice, eventually drank their juice and dispersed.
Despite the painful rejection, according to timing data, Rogers and Blake ran together for the duration of the race.
"It was a little weird," Rogers said, "but, you know, we had the same time goal and we were wearing the same pace bands."
Asked how their relationship might change after this, Rogers sighed.
"I don't know," he said. "I guess I seriously misjudged us, and where we are right now."
"I wonder if we're still on for that Turkey Trot."