4

Healthy Local Runner Drops Dead at 32. Um, Time to take Physical Inventory?

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Mark Austry was healthy. Not an obsessed fitness nut, but healthy.

Played baseball at Texas Tech and with the Fort Worth Cats. Was a superb golfer. And, when he found time from being a devoted family man to wife and two kids, he got out and ran.

Sunday he dropped dead. At age 32. Literally seconds after crossing the finish line of the 13.1-mile half-marathon on Greenville Ave., Austry grabbed a bottled water, took two steps and collapsed. Never to be revived. Gone. Just like that.

Cue the chill bumps.

My annual physical check-up is scheduled for this afternoon. In the wake of Austry's death, it couldn't have come at a better time.

When the autopsy report comes out in a couple weeks, I'll be curious to find out if Austry died of some pre-condition, like an enlarged heart? Or did the over-exertion of running simply kill him?

Did being an athlete prolong his life? Or somehow short-circuit it?

I finished three marathons last millennium and fancied trying another last year until I got busy taking on a new job and dropping a wife.

Stories like this always make me stop and ponder:

A. Do we actually increase our life span by working out and eating healthy and not smoking?

B. Or will fate/destiny/God simply take us when it's time, regardless of our lifestyle?

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.