After a tragic afternoon following the news of my wife's aunt's passing, we were notified of yet another death in the family last night. My cousin, Dean Borg, was a 52-year-old health nut who loved to exercise, stay fit, and more than anything, run marathons. At least he died doing what he loved.

I haven't seen Dean since I was a kid, mainly because he lives so far away, but we kept in touch like so many of us do these days, via Facebook. He was a man who loved his family, his friends, and was incredibly motivated. You have to be to move halfway around the world.

Not even one week ago, he commented on an article about marathons and the effects on the heart of those over 50. His incredibly ironic and sobering words from Tuesday, August 4 were:

I WOULD prefer to die running an ultramarathon than sitting on the sofa worrying about things that will kill me.

Before the race yesterday (8/9), he handed his camera to one of race marshals, asking if he would mind taking a picture of him as he crossed the finish line. Unfortunately, he never made it. Dean collapsed just two kilometers into the race that was in honor of another racer who collapsed during another race.

Here's a video report, but it's in Filipino.

With the Crim Festival of Races this weekend, I'm in no way trying to discourage people from running or walking. That's the last thing my cousin would want. Some of the healthiest people in the world collapse unexpectedly. As sad and tragic as it is, he's right! He could have been at home on his couch when he died, but he wasn't. He died doing what he loved.

Now Dean is running marathons in Heaven. I believe that our family will all be together again one day in Heaven, cheering for Dean at the finish line! I love you, cousin! Godspeed!