Marriage proposal spelt out on runner’s streets of Portsmouth route wins his girlfriend’s heart

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RUNNER Ben Chudley’s girlfriend burst into tears of joy when he popped the question using maps of his imaginative pavement-pounding recorded on a phone via GPS.

Ben, 28, of Eastern Road, spent an hour running the streets of Portsmouth with a GPS-tracking phone app to spell out ‘will you marry me’ on Sunday.

Then late on Tuesday evening he told his now bride-to-be Olivia Abdul, 20, that he was off for a run.

But the care services manager uploaded the images to Facebook and tagged her on the post to his Urban Pictionary page, quickly changing into a suit before walking back through the front door and dropping down to one knee.

He said: ‘When I made the decision to propose I thought it was the best way to do it.

‘She cried for quite a while actually – about 45 minutes.

‘She was just really shocked and pleased, she really wasn’t expecting it at all.’

His 5.71-mile run and the nine-carat gold engagement ring complete with a diamond won his fiancée’s approval.

Speaking to The News, Olivia said: ‘I’ve been in a complete daze since Tuesday. I keep looking down at my hand.

‘It was just unbelievable – it was just so Ben. I’m just completely overwhelmed.

‘By the time I calmed down it was 46 minutes later. I was just crying solidly.

‘The ring is beautiful, it’s perfect – he’s done well, he knows me better than I do.’

Ben mapped out his proposal on Sunday – taking time to ensure he paused the phone app between each letter stroke so as not to join them up by mistake.

The phone tracked his run and marks it on the map. The system is used by runners to share routes online and to record speed, duration and miles.

Roads he ran on included Beresford Road and Chichester Road in North End and nearby Kingston Road in Buckland.

Ben started running around six years ago and races in the Great South Run each year.

His experimentation with the Nike+ running phone app started when he tracked a run that accidentally looked like a rude image.

Before building up to the marriage proposal he has previously drawn a 15-mile long Tyrannosaurus Rex, a nine-mile version of the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, a stick man and a birthday message for his mum.

He added: ‘I’m a bit of a keen runner.

‘About a year ago I used the running app to tag my run.

‘I did a run that accidentally did a rude shape – a few people liked it.

‘People said I should try and do other pictures – a friend said I should do a T-Rex and I’ve done a few other things.’

Ben and overwhelmed Olivia, a sales assistant in the city, met through a mutual friend around two years ago. The pair have no plans for their wedding as it is too early and they haven’t discussed them yet.