A Heart Beats On

David Yon, February 15, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014, Mark Priddy directed a successful Flash 12K. Alert runners noticed the life-size poster of Tim Simpkins in his superman costume there to greet them and Jonny Simpkins’s smiling face. Mark has kept his promise to never allow us to forget Tim – not that we ever could. Some memories from Tim’s losing battle against cancer organized by David Yon..

March 11, 2001. David Yon

A heart beats on, refusing to quit, fortified by 50,000, 75,000, probably 100,000 miles of right foot following left foot on pavement, trail and track. The rest of the body lies ravaged by cancer unable to rise from a bed. Pain sears nearly every cell and makes morphine the only haven from suffering. The heart, however strong, no longer supports any quality life, but it won’t let go. Tim has returned home, said his goodbyes, given his thanks and asked for forgiveness. In the end the heart will outlast the cancer, having left its mark on those lives Superman touched.

February 24-25, 2001. Tim Simpkins

Friends, I wish everyone a wonderful Relay tomorrow. I wish I could be there. I am very grateful that you wonderful folks see fit to put on this event for a silly costume runner.

February 25, 2001. Mark Simpkins

Tim had a rough day today. But he will be ok. He will do another treatment in the morning. He is able to stay strong only because of great people like you. Your words and prayers and love will see Tim thru this Big Race. But Tim and I cannot begin to thank you for that Big Miracle that y’all did today – the Superman Relay. I have been reading your e-mails to Tim and they choke me up because they touched our souls. The feeling that we get from ya’ll cannot be described. I think the closest word would be Love.

Feb. 26, 2001, Jonny Simpkins

I cannot tell everyone that I met how much they have changed my views of Love in this sometimes mean and cruel world. My soul has been touched in the most special way from attending this Superman Relay for my special brother Tim. Tim is one of the luckiest men alive. On the way home, all I could say and feel is “WOW,” those people are amazing. The ten hours that I spent at Leon High School, were the greatest ten hours I have ever spent.

January 27, 2001, Tim Simpkins

Hello, Friends!

You folks are the greatest people in the world! The incredible support you are still giving me blows my mind. I managed to sleep decently last night despite many pains. I stay optimistic. Dying young is not on the GWTC Grand Prix racing circuit. So I am fighting like mad to live long enough to challenge Tim Unger, Greg Waddell, and Paul Hoover for those valuable Grand Prix points. They think I am a wimp because I ran like a chump last fall. I must show these gracious gentlemen and many other runners that they are mistaken.

Every day I am still very, very, very tired. I manage to fight fatigue off until mid afternoon. Then it virtually shuts me down the rest of the day. My stomach pains and chest pains and side pains continue almost nonstop. I fight hourly to stay tougher than the whole situation. I cancelled yesterday’s chemotherapy. The side effects from chemo seem to be killing me faster than the cancer itself.

January 28, 2001, “Your crazy, costume-running friend!”

I wish everyone continued success in their training and racing. It is true that exercise does not necessarily guarantee years to our lives. Despite my terminal cancer I fully believe running has given me forty-six years of quality living.

In three weeks I hope to see you again (after a trip to Mexico). I am doing my best to stay optimistic. Everyone leaves this world eventually. It may or may not be time for me to depart earlier than I was hoping. Whatever happens I must accept it. I expect everyone else to be strong and accept whatever happens also.

Thanks again for 25 years of fantastic friendships and many, many incredible racing experiences.

March 12, 2001. Joint resolution of city and county commissions.

WHEREAS, in his efforts to promote running and fitness in Tallahassee and Leon County, Florida, Tim Simpkins has revealed his true identity as a SUPER-HERO, through donning at various times the uniforms of his alter egos of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and other super-heroes, and by providing an example and inspiration to others in Tallahassee and Leon County, Florida, to take up the sport of running, and thereby improve their health and fitness.

The Leon County Board of County Commissioners and the City Commissioners of the City of Tallahassee, do hereby join together to proclaim Tim Simpkins as their SUPER-HERO.”

March 29, 2001, The funeral service, a packed church.

Tim had a remarkable way of reaching out to people. His costumes were one way. His ability to remember and care about the details of others’ lives was a more important one. An overwhelming number of people have said to me: “He really seemed to care about my running.” This more than anything else explains the outpouring for Tim. And it far over shadows the numerous races and awards he won.

Thank you, Mark Priddy, for helping us remember.