Erik’s take

Erik read my last blog entry. He needs to clarify a point. He’s funny. Read on.

Maggie and I got up early on Sunday to run the Schlotzky’s Annual Bun Run, one of Austin’s best 5K races. Ten years ago that sentence wouldn’t have happened. Get up early on a Sunday? Uh uh. Run a 5K? Who’d want to do that?

But now I love running. It allows me to binge on chocolate and still wear trousers without elastic waistbands. I listen to audiobooks on my jaunts around the Town Lake Hiker/Biker trail (a fact my friend Mary finds hilarious). It re-energizes me for the rest of the day. And I feel virtuous and smug. Everyone’s a winner.

Back to the 5K. Austin has tons of 5K races, which is 3.1 miles for you metrically challenged types. Schlotzky’s is an upper-tier fast food place specializing in sandwiches served on a signature bun-type thing. Hence, the Bun Run. On a side note, they have really good potato chips and they give away free bags after the race, so it’s definitely worth the $25 entry fee. That and the money goes to charity, but go read Maggie’s blog (www.maggiegallant.com) for more on that.

Anyway, most of you are now wondering about the title of this piece. “In My Defense.” What, dear Erik, have you done now? Is it a small domestic matter, or are the authorities involved? Will you be pushing the Don Imus story off of the front pages with your indefensible exploits and/or wacky hijinks*?

Well, you judge. I’ll quote Maggie’s blog on the subject of this race:

A man had a heart attack on the course. It was early on and I do remember seeing a man on the sidewalk along Cesar Chavez but it looked like he’d just tripped over and was about to get up. Apparently when Erik saw him a few seconds later he was grey and not moving. Neither of us stopped.
Read that a few times if you didn’t catch it. “Neither of us stopped.” Yep, we saw a man in obvious distress and failed to stop and help. Of course, Maggie just thought he’d tripped and was getting up. Nice justification there, Gallant. But me, I saw a man, collapsed, grey and unmoving, and decided not to let it affect my (personal best 24:52) finishing time. Because that’s the sort of guy I am.

Maggie, of course, failed to mention that he was being attended to by one of the cyclists who volunteer to ride the race course for just this sort of thing. And by two other people. They were radoing for the emergency service vehicles that stand by at these races for just such an occasion. The last thing they needed was a bald 40-year-old guy who doesn’t know CPR to come and add his expertise. “Thank God Erik’s here! He can crowd in and breathe this poor guys oxygen!”

Apparently the fellow is doing fine.

No thanks to me.

* Wacky Hijinks sounds like a great name for a band. Has anyone already taken it? I’d start playing my guitar more if I was in a band called Wacky Hijinks.