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    Posted on Nov 3, 2015

    This Marathon Couple Found The Mystery Woman Who Photographed Their Engagement

    Update: Their social media hunt was a success!

    Newly engaged couple Katie Mascenik and Joe Duarte are on the hunt to find the mystery woman who took this photo-within-a-photo of them getting engaged during the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

    Katie Mascenik

    The bride-to-be told BuzzFeed Life she had no idea her boyfriend was planning on proposing when she met up with him at mile 17 of the race.

    She said that Duarte had told her he was going to pop the question in January, so when he took the time to find her during the race she was a little concerned.

    "He was running slower than he wanted to, and we were hoping he was OK," she said. "I think it was probably because of the nerves. When he came over to me he said, 'Hi, I love you,' and I thought, Wow, maybe he knows he's not doing too well, but it's still really weird."

    Duarte then dropped down to one knee, and pulled an engagement ring out of a zipper pocket in his shorts.

    Katie Mascenik

    Mascenik said yes to his proposal, they kissed, and he ran away; she guesses the entire interaction took only 30 seconds.

    In that 30 seconds, though, a memorable photo was taken.

    Shortly after the marathon, Mascenik posted this photo — taken by the mother of a fellow runner and a friend of the couple — to Facebook with the hopes someone on social media will be able to track the mystery woman down.

    Another friend got took a video of the big moment, which shows that the elusive photographer is a young woman in a gray vest.

    Courtesy of Katie Mascenik
    Courtesy of Katie Mascenik

    She's on the left, wearing blue leggings and holding a phone in a gold-and-white case.

    Mascenik said she wants to see the photo not only so that the couple's family can get a good look at the proposal, but also because running holds a lot of importance to her and Duarte.

    Katie Mascenik

    The couple met while teaching fitness classes at their local YMCA in New Jersey, and started dating in April 2012 after starting to go on runs together. They've since run three marathons together.

    Mascenik's fully aware that the other photo might be blurry, a Snapchat, or nonexistent, but she said she's fine with that possibility.

    "I have him, and that’s way better than a picture," she said.


    Success! Val Ferrara, who was watching six friends run the marathon, stepped forward as the mystery photographer.

    This is the highly-coveted photo. Friends of Ferrara's saw Mascenik's story and texted her, telling her that she was the woman in the blue spandex that they were looking for.

    Courtesy of Katie Mascenik

    "My phone had 20 text messages from various friends in Albany, Texas, New York, all over," she told "People knew I had taken the photo because I had told everyone how awesome it was."

    "When she called, I was excited because I might finally get my picture [but also] nervous because what if she deleted it or didn't have the perfect shot," Mascenik said.

    "I am so grateful for everyone's help finding the picture — it's beautiful."

    Hooray for happy endings!