Thomas Susarchick surprised Ariel Hidalgo Sunday, May 6, by proposing marriage just as the couple ran across the Rock the River’s 5k finish line. The couple, who met at the inaugural 2012 race benefiting the Palisades Parks Conservancy, thank their mothers for inviting their children to run with them in 2012. It is the couple’s passion for running and their love of the parks that kept them on the path to today’s marriage proposal.
Thomas Susarchick remarked, “People often ask us how we met and it’s such a joy to think back at how it began. The Palisades Parks Conservancy puts on these amazing events for the community, in this beautiful park along the scenic Hudson River, and we are so proud that our love traces back to it. This park and the events mean so much to us and we are so grateful to live so close to such a meaningful place.”
Board member and lead organizer of the race, Victor Del Rio, is responsible for initiating the race. His passion for running and his protection of the Palisades Interstate Parks System is evident in his energy running each year’s race. Through his leadership, the Rock the River race has grown to include about 800 runners participating in a 5k, 6k trail run and half-marathon.
All net proceeds from today’s race benefit the Palisades Parks Conservancy, and in turn, the Palisades Interstate Parks System. The Palisades Parks Conservancy’s vision is to preserve the important natural and cultural historic resources managed by the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission. The Conservancy achieves this through programming and education, advocacy and cultivating stewards for the more than 120,000 acres of the Palisades Interstate Parks System’s 20 parks and 9 historic sites. Board President Dr. Joshua Hyman commented, “This race is an important source of funding to help ensure the parks are here for all to enjoy in the future. Funds create new paths, free programming and ensure our historic sites, such as Fort Lee, are safe and accessible. Most importantly, we get people out and exercising, while enjoying the beauty of the Cliffs.”
2018 Rock the River sponsors included lead sponsor Benzel Busch. Other sponsors included Fairway; Mack- Cali; NY Waterway; ConnectOne Bank; and Excel Physical Therapy. Timing sponsor was PR Timing. The 2018 race was also supported by Nuun; JackRabbit; InThyme Catering; Club Pilates - Englewood; Jersey Mike’s Subs. Elizabeth Morrow School performed the National Anthem to kick off today’s race.
Attached pictures include the engaged couple Thomas Susarchick and Ariel Hidalgo; Palisades Parks Conservancy Executive Director Heather Loebner and Board member Victor Del Rio congratulating the newly engaged; and Thomas and Ariel celebrating their engagement with friends and fellow runners.