Officer runs race in full SWAT gear, saves woman’s life, then proposes to girlfriend

CHICAGO (WBBM/CNN) - At the end of a 9-mile run in Chicago, a police officer proposed to his now fiancée but not before saving the life of a fellow runner.

Officer Erin Gubala and Sgt. Mike Nowacki of the Chicago Police Department are engaged after Nowacki proposed at the finish line of a 15K race. (Source: WBBM/CNN)

Sgt. Mike Nowacki wanted to pop the question Sunday to fellow officer Erin Gubala at the end of the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K race in Chicago. He ran in his full SWAT outfit, which weighs 50 pounds, and carried the engagement ring.

But before Nowacki could finish the race and propose, a young woman and fellow runner went into cardiac arrest, no more than 200 feet from the finish line.

Nowacki and Merrillville, Ind., Fire Department Capt. Walter Cook saw the woman collapse, stopped their run and went to her aid.

“I hear people screaming, ‘Medic, medic.’ My training kind of kicked in, and I went towards the crowd of people,” Nowacki said.

Nowacki and Cook both did CPR. The woman was revived and rushed to the hospital. Thanks to the pair’s actions, she is expected to be OK.

Afterward, Nowacki and Cook finished the race, and Nowacki was able to follow through with his planned proposal.

"It was great. Once he finished it in his full gear, helmet, everything and he’s sweating, I wanted to talk to him about what happened, to find out more information. He got down on one knee, and I thought he was hurt. He just said, ‘Erin, I don’t know what to say.’ And I realized what was going on,” Gubala said.

The couple is now officially engaged.

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