A North Texas family is mourning the loss of a young father who died at a Dallas half-marathon.
“We high-fived, (and) he got a glass of water,” said Michael Austry, who ran the 13.1 mile race alongside his younger brother. “I turned around and just missed catching him; he was out.”
Paramedics tried to revive the Lantana husband and father of two. He was rushed to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas but never regained consciousness.
“They did a great job trying to keep him with us, but it didn't take," his brother said.
Mark Austry had been athlete his entire life. He played baseball in college and professionally at one time for the Fort Worth Cats.
Michael Austry, his elder by nearly 11 years, was the runner in the family. He said he talked his brother into running the half-marathon.
“It’s hard to acknowledge it, but I think he did it because he loved me, because he wanted to spend some time on something he knows I do," he said.
The initial autopsy report from the medical examiner was inconclusive.
Michael Austry said his brother was in top shape and had no known health issues prior to Sunday's race.
“I don't know if our pace was too fast, if it would have happened anyhow, if we should have walked," he said. "But why would we walk? He felt good.”
He said they stopped for water several times and cracked jokes along the course.
Mark Austry is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 1 and 3.
Michael Austry and his wife are expecting their first child this summer, and he said he hopes to be half as good of a father as his younger brother.
Services for Mark Austry are scheduled for Friday at Saint Ann Catholic Parish in Coppell.
A fund has also been set up for Austry's daughters. Donations can be made at any Edward Jones Investment firm across the state in care of the "Austry girls."