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Julie Costello

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It was a Wednesday morning around 6am. My boyfriend started joining me and my running buddies as the token male in the group for regular runs around Lady Bird Lake. It was Town Lake at the time.

Our weekday runs were typically only a few folks, those who didn’t have early meetings for work and could squeeze in a quick run before the day started. This particular morning everyone was there. Six women plus me and Chad. It was pretty unusual that ALL of them were there. Anxious to get our miles knocked out, I took off. When we got to the Pfluger bridge section, they all decided to go for 4 miles while Chad and I turned off for the 3-mile loop. Again, odd that it was now just two of us but whatever.

We typically stopped for a water break at the fountain at Lou Neff Point. At the time, the commemorative brick project was just kicking off. There were signs with details on how you could purchase a brick engraved with your name. Sitting by the sign was a brick with my name hand-painted on it. I thought it was an example for display purposes – coincidental that it had my name as the example but whatever. It was early, and I needed to be on my way so I could get ready for work.

Chad pointed to the brick, dumbfounded that I wasn’t curious about it or even found it odd that it was there with my name and an arrow. After several different approached, flabbergasted, he said, “It’s a brick. With YOUR name on it! Don’t you want to pick it up?” Ok, I thought, whatever. I picked it up. Turned it over. And there, painted on the back were 4 simple words: Will you marry me?

Chad was pulling a ring out of the small pocket in his running shorts and was down on one knee. NOW I got it.

I couldn’t believe it. Yes, yes of course, I’ll marry you!

Just about that time, I spotted my group of girl friends along the trail across the water from Lou Neff Point. Now I know why they all showed up today! As they approached, they ran toward us singing, “Going to the chapel!” at surprisingly high volumes – especially for 6:15am!

After that, there was a lot of cheering, hugging, and tears of joy. Apparently, a couple of them got wind of what was planned that morning and they stashed a bottle of champagne, plastic glasses and a homemade veil into the bushes nearby. Chad didn’t even know that part!

Another thing he didn’t know was that after our engagement, I secretly purchased a brick to be engraved with our names as part of the official brick project.

When we got back from our honeymoon, I lured him to Lou Neff Point this time and pointed to the official brick and said, “Look, it’s a brick with OUR names on it!”

That was over 14 years ago. A lot has changed since then. But one constant is our love for the trail. We’ve spent some bleary-eyed mornings with our daughter in the baby jogger at Lou Neff Point. She’s now ten! But, every time we’re at the trail, we make sure we go to Lou Neff Point, find our brick and kiss each other.


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