Surprise 'rock' at Rock the River race as man presents engagement ring

FORT LEE, New Jersey (WABC) -- She got "Rocked" in more ways than one! Just as Ariel Hidalgo finished the 5k run below the majestic Palisades Cliffs for the sixth annual 'Rock the River' race for the Palisades Parks Conservancy Sunday, she got the surprise of her life.

"Will you marry me?", asked 31-year-old Thomas Susarchick as he got down on one knee at the finish line and presented Ariel with a diamond ring that he had tucked in his running shorts.

The couple, who are both from Washington Heights, met six years ago when their mothers participated in the annual race that raises money to conserve Palisades Park, which consist of 11 parks and nine historic sites along the Hudson River in New Jersey and New York.

Thomas decided to pop the question at the finish line, since the race was the first place they laid eyes on each other.

"I was completely surprised, " gushed Ariel, also 31, showing off her new rock as runners finished the Rock the River race behind her.

800 runners signed up for the races which include a half marathon, a 6K trail run, and a 5K race.

"The park is a wonderful and diverse outdoor space for many people to enjoy," said Victor Del Rio, who founded the race in 2012 to raise awareness about the park and the importance of conserving this natural resource.

The Palisades Interstate Park hosts 250,000 visitors including thousands of runners and cyclists every year.

Click here for more information on the race and the Conservancy.
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.