WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Elizabeth Metz didn’t expect to see her boyfriend, Lucas Tobalsky, this Thanksgiving. Tobalsky had just finished Air Force basic military training in October, and is now in tech school and stationed in Texas.
Lucas Tobalsky surprises girlfriend Elizabeth Metz at Turkey Trot finish line, Nov. 28, 2019 (WSAW Photo)
“I woke up this morning, thinking I was just running a 5K,” she said later. But when she crossed the finish line Thursday morning, one of more than 1,900 runners in the Eastbay Turkey Trot—Tobalsky was there, waiting with a hug—and something more.
“We’ve known each other since middle school, so a pretty long time,” Metz told NewsChannel 7. It started off as being friends with his sister. “Once she left for college, Luc and I started spending some time together, and then hit it off really fast. And we’ve been together ever since.”
After a minutes-long embrace, Tobalsky got down on one knee and proposed while other runners gathered around, cheering.
“I was a little nervous, but I was really excited,” Tobalsky reflected later. “I couldn’t wait to see her, I couldn’t wait to see her reaction…all these thoughts going through my head at the time.”
The annual turkey trot raises money for the Marathon County Hunger Coalition, and is a favorite tradition for hundreds in the Wausau area. The tradition started with just 450 runners, Eastbay employee and race organizer Amanda Sahr explained. Today, they had a record 1,904 participants.
“In our very first year we raised about $10,000. And every year, that dollar amount has increased. And this year, we had a record $60,000 come in.” Every dollar from the registration fees is put toward the hunger coalition, Sahr said. That money goes toward helping those in need of food throughout the holidays—and the year.