The day Brooke Osborn and her fiancé got engaged was also the day an unlikely candidate joined their family.
Brooke’s soon-to-be-husband, Patrick “Boomer” Twardak, had planned the perfect proposal. The Chicago couple and their dog took a stroll in Lincoln Park where Boomer planned to pop the question. The sky threatened rain, but other than that, the proposal went off without a hitch.
That is, until the jogger came along.
“Brooke is my daughter, the one who was proposed to when the photobomber jogger accidentally ran into the picture that the professional photographer was taking,” said Brenda Osborn.
Boomer had hired a photographer, Kurt Gerber, to capture the special moment on camera. But when Gerber sent back the proposal photos to the couple, Brooke and Boomer were surprised to see an unexpected guest in some of the shots.
Luckily, the couple found the photobomb hilarious — and so did the rest of the world. The “photobombing jogger” quickly went viral and was featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and a variety of other national and local Chicago media outlets. The photo even became a meme, and the jogger has been frequently Photoshopped into other famous photos.
With their lives forever changed by this mystery man, Brooke and Boomer expressed a desire to have the jogger at all of their major life events in the future.
“They made a joke about inviting this jogger to the wedding, the reception, every life event from now on,” said Osborn.
That’s when the idea came to Osborn: a cardboard cutout of the jogger, so that Brooke and Boomer could always bring along Tony to share their special moments. She planned to give the cutout to her daughter and Boomer as a Christmas present and left the life-size jogger next to the tree on Christmas Eve as a surprise.
“He surprised Brooke and Boomer Christmas morning, as Santa had left him the night before,” said Osborn. “They loved him! It was the best Christmas present ever!”
Osbon said that the decision to “run” with the idea was an easy one to make. “The cutout will be at the wedding, and the reception for sure, and possibly other events, like the birth of their first child,” she said. “This is why I purchased the most durable, high grade, material, so he can be transported easily for years, without falling apart.”
The photobombing jogger’s identity remained a mystery for a long time, until a local news station in Milwaukee published an online story identifying the man as Tony Martin, a student at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside. As for Brooke and Boomer, they now have a keepsake of their engagement that they’ll treasure forever.
“We plan on having him around for a long time,” said Osborn.
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