I hope the Race gods are listening

THE ERIN LAHR STORY PART 1

Erin Ezell Krielow Lahr.

When you ask people if they know who she is, most say “No.”

When you add: “the woman who died three miles from the finish line at the 2008 White Rock Marathon” — then most people make a connection and a conversation begins.

The 29-year-old Austin woman’s death was the second in the 39-year running of the marathon. Her death was a shock not only to her family and friends, but to her co-workers and marathoners and triathletes who she trained with in Austin, and to the running community in general. They all asked how a vibrant and healthy young woman could collapse unexpectedly. Even after a year, her official cause of death, cardiac arrhythmia of unknown origin, continues to prompt questions.

“If there was anyone who was a picture of health, it was Erin,” her husband, Jeff would say many months later. “She ate right. She exercised. This was not supposed to happen to her.”

But it was just past mile marker 23 on Dec. 14, 2008, at the crossroad of Washington and Swiss avenues, where, not unlike a marathon, a reflection of Erin’s life as it passed by would reveal the energetic young woman’s euphoria, heartache, short-term goals accomplished, [...]

1 Comment

  • What a beautiful story. It takes a true journalist to tell such a story.

THE ERIN LAHR STORY PART 2

Lafayette, La.

A little after 10 a.m., Karen Krielow already was at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Lafayette, La. She was a member of the adult choir there, and was putting on her green robe to match that of the 40 other members.

She was anxious on this day. She knew that her only daughter, Erin, would be running the marathon in Dallas. On Sunday afternoons, dutifully, they talked for a long time over the telephone. She was anxious about that phone call.

She and Erin were close. After her divorce, Erin and Karen, a school teacher, moved to Lafayette. Erin’s older brother, Mitchell, went to live with his father.

As she grew, Erin and Karen became very close. Erin loved sports, horseback riding, fishing, but she also found that she liked playing the clarinet and got good at it. She was involved in various clubs in high school.

She overcame her problems with math and enrolled in the engineering program at LSU, where she also played in the Tiger Band for two years. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and decided to move to Austin, where she found work with the PBS&J Engineering firm.

Karen Krielow had met Jeff [...]

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THE ERIN LAHR STORY PART 3

Momma’s girl

In Lafayette one recent fall afternoon, Karen Krielow talked about her daughter. Her townhome is, in her words, an “Erin museum.” Here she has many of Erin’s diplomas, awards and clothes, including her First Holy Communion dress and her wedding dress. Mostly, she has photos. Lots of them.

With photos strewn on a kitchen table and others about in the living room, she looked through a green purse through some of her daughter’s things.

She had turned on a CD that includes some inspirational music that was given to her by Katie Marx. The CD, perhaps from being played too long, skips in many places, particularly on a song called, “Mary,” by Patty Griffin, whose theme is about dealing with the loss of loved ones.

The pain of losing her daughter is still raw; she has sought counseling services and she leans on her Catholic faith as much as she can.

“Here is her lipstick,” she said, pulling it out from the purse. “Here is her toothbrush and toothpaste. Here’s her iPod. I think she had Britney Spears and stuff like that and some hip-hop music for her workouts.

“And here is her brush and her hair,” she said, unsuccessful in [...]

6 Comments

  • This is so powerful. I look forward to the event this Sunday.

  • Ms.Karen,this is so beautiful to honor Erin this way,its a very touching tribute.My prayers are with you and your family.

  • Thanks to all who worked on this website to honor my daughter.

  • Journalism at its best. What a beautiful story.

  • What a beautiful story. Surely the power of God was present on that day to have all those wonderful people in place at that time. What a blessed passing for Erin.

  • Ms. Karen,
    I meant you at the Compassionate Friends Meeting 1/17/11. I have just viewed your daughters story and it was so powerful I could see her and all the people around her. I know God had her in his Grace at that time you could feel it in the story. My heart goes out to you and will keep you in my prayers (also Jeff). On my sons tomb it reads Faith, Hope and Love abide greatest being Love, I know you guys know that.
    God Bless you and give you hope and peace,
    Gwen Tabor


Remember Erin Krielow Lahr

Recent Comments

  • Posted by Gwen Tabor

    Ms. Karen, I meant you at the Compassionate Friends Meeting 1/17/11. I have just viewed your daughters story and it was so powerful I could see her a[...] Read more

  • Posted by Mary Cahill

    What a beautiful story. Surely the power of God was present on that day to have all those wonderful people in place at that time. What a blessed pas[...] Read more

  • Posted by Richard Pruitt

    Journalism at its best. What a beautiful story. Read more

  • Posted by Richard Pruitt

    What a beautiful story. It takes a true journalist to tell such a story. Read more

  • Posted by Karen K

    Thanks to all who worked on this website to honor my daughter. Read more

  • Posted by Melanie Douet

    Ms.Karen,this is so beautiful to honor Erin this way,its a very touching tribute.My prayers are with you and your family. Read more


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