I was in Austin, Texas a few weekends ago and while strolling around the downtown area with my boyfriend, we noticed tons of people running around in purple T-shirts and staring at their phones. And when I say running, I mean scrambling around in a really panicked and frenzied way as if Godzilla was just going to appear above a barbecue joint on the corner. Some were running head on into traffic and I saw one girl literally run in a circle, unsure of what direction she wanted to go in, her nose buried in her cell phone like everyone else. We finally got close enough to read what was written on the shirts they were all wearing: “Ben Bridge’s Ring Dash.”
“Wouldn’t it be funny if this was some sort of scavenger hunt where you win like a giant engagement ring or something? That would be weird,” I said to my boyfriend, and we laughed. That is indeed what these people were doing. Turns out Ben Bridge is a national jeweler who has been sponsoring these ring dashes in several cities in America for a few years.
You and a partner – and for the most part, we realized, it did look like it was a bunch of heterosexual couples who were competing together – get sent text-message based clues on your phone that lead you to one location where you then receive the next text-based clue, and so on until one lucky couple is the first to finish and they are awarded the prize of an engagement ring. But not just any engagement ring: a $12,000 engagement ring. Whew! Screw the ring, I can’t stop fantasizing about all the things I could do with twelve thousand dollars.
I guess competing for a ring kind of eliminates the element of surprise of an engagement. And for the couple that wins a ring dash, do they get engaged, like immediately? Right there at the event? Would be pretty anti-climactic if they didn’t, right? Well, turns out they did in Portland! Jonathan and Kayla met in college on the track team so it felt appropriate that he proposed to her in tiny running shorts after they found out they had won a small ring-sized fortune. Their proposal is the clincher in the recap video.
I guess it’s best that he did pop the question right then and there because it made for a much better photo op than the Seattle winners, who did not get engaged on the spot and were thus forced to pose awkwardly with a giant teddy bear and their new ring, which she shall not wear on her finger until he hath proposed, dammit! Maybe these two made their way to the nearest pawn shop because they were fantasizing what other things they could do with $12,000 too.
And if you currently live in Honolulu, I have good news for you! One, you live in a beautiful tropical paradise, and two, there is still time to sign up for this year’s ring dash happening on November 23rd. And yes, I will be charging a 10% commission for writing this blog post to whomever wins so have fun and don’t run into traffic!
Images via Vimeo