Puppy Love: Surprise Proposal for Final Beargrease Finisher

Baihly Warfield
Updated: January 29, 2020 10:36 PM

Liza Dietzen knew crossing the finish line of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon would be sweet. The race is her final Iditarod qualifier, setting her up for a future goal of running the Last Great Race. 


She was the final musher to cross the finish at around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. 

“I remember coming across the finish line being like, finally! I finished!" Dietzen said. 

She was exhausted. But her morning was about to get even more surreal. 

"Derek, who is my significant other, popped up. And I didn’t know he was going to be at the finish because he normally has to work during the week," she said. 

That was enough of a surprise. But Derek had even more planned. 

"So I went over and he was like, ‘Well, I have a question for you,'" she recalled. "I’m like, what kind of question could you possibly ask me? So then he pulled out the ring and he asked me to marry him.”

The two have been together for 11 years, so the "yes" came easy. 

Later Wednesday morning, Dietzen received the Red Lantern award, a sled dog race tradition. The award goes to the final musher to cross the finish line. 


Baihly Warfield

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