Officer runs 15k, saves a life and proposes to his girlfriend on the same day

James Foster / Chicago Sun-Times
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Talk about making the most out of every minute! This Chicago SWAT Sergeant ran a 15K marathon, saved a life and proposed to his girlfriend all in one day! And did all of this within a couple of hours! Was this just a normal day for this hero?

Sergeant Mike Nowacki had signed up to run the 15K marathon, planning secretly that he was going to ask his girlfriend to marry him at the finish line. The name of the 15K marathon was the Allstate Hot Chocolate and it occurs in Chicago to raise much-needed funding for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

The unique thing about the marathon was not only that he ran 15K (9.3 miles) but did so in his full 50-pound SWAT gear which made it even more incredible. But while Sgt. Nowacki was running the marathon, he noticed a stranger lying on the ground.

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Only a few yards from the end of the race, with his proposal on his mind and the finish line in sight, he heard a race medic scream for help. He exited the race and ran to help the medic with an unconscious woman who was lying on the ground.

As a large crowd began to gather, Nowacki administered CPR to the woman and saved her life. According to him, the timing was everything because only a few seconds later or sooner and he wouldn’t have been in the right place at the right time. She was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Hospital where doctors were grateful for Nowacki’s quick reactions which they say ‘saved her life’.

After all of that, he made it to the finish line where he successfully proposed to his girlfriend and fellow police officer, Erin Gubala. Nowacki’s recollection of the day includes just thinking about what to say to Erin as he approached the finish line and being completely thrown off by the unconscious young woman. After the incident, as he regained his focus and started back towards the finish line, he could see her and his focus became clear.

According to Gubala, she had heard about the woman and as she saw him approaching, she could see that he was sweating and heading towards her. She said that as he approached her, she could tell he was about to propose. His first comment was, “Erin I don’t know what to say!” She initially thought he was hurt, but then realized what he was doing and she, of course, said yes! Now, their next big challenge will be planning a wedding!

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