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

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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?

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