Amid thousands of limping marathoners Sunday in Grant Park, one man raised a boombox above his head and hit play.
Out blared Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”
“Oh my God,” said his girlfriend, soaked in 26.2 miles of sweat and sitting on a curb.
He unfolded a cardboard sign: Will you marry me?
As creaky knees buckled all over the city, the man slowly sank to his knee and produced a ring.
And like that, Claude Fethiere, 47, and Natasha Tarpley, 43, two of the biggest ’80s movies fans in Chicago, were engaged.
Someone nearby uttered, “Did he do what I think he just did?”
Fethiere intended to re-enact the legendary scene from the hit 1989 flick “Say Anything” at the finish line, but he was stymied by traffic and missed the moment.
“I had to adapt,” said Fethiere, a tutor at Harold Washington College.
“The whole day was just magical,” said Tarpley, a children’s author and graduate of Northwestern University’s law school who lives in the historic Pullman neighborhood.
Fethiere, of Hyde Park, even wore the sweatpants, T-shirt and overcoat that John Cusack’s character, Lloyd Dobler, wore as he professed his love in the iconic scene.
“She nodded and said ‘yes’ immediately and we were hugging and kissing,” Fethiere said. “We were kissing for a while.”
They were set up on a blind date four years ago by a nursery school teacher who taught them both at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.
“We went to The Nile Restaurant in Hyde Park and hit it off,” said Tarpley, who recalled being a bit taken aback for a moment that day. “He went in for the kiss on the first date . . . It was a lunch date!”