Relay runners rally for Tim

Fred Deckert

Leon High School Track has seen many different scenes but probably none more varied than the sight at the “Run 10 for Tim” Superman Relay on Sunday. There were folks in wheelchairs, some in costumes, others in running shorts and women pushing strollers and pulling kiddie wagons. Even Tim Simpkins, Tallahassee’s costumed runner would have been hard put to look unusual at this 10 hour fund raiser in his benefit. It had some of the aspects of a carnival, but there was deadly serious business going on here. Whatever the attire or background, these folks were there to raise funds and gain attention for Tim’s fight for life against an opponent tougher than any he’s ever faced on the running scene, cancer.

Simpkins is no stranger around Tallahassee, having lived and worked and ran for many years on the local scene. Since his days at FSU he’s been an outstandingly gifted runner, having been Runner of the Year a number of times for his beloved Gulf Winds Track Club. The Club was the organizer, but far from the only participant in this community effort to help the 46 year old athlete beat the odds in this race for life. When most of us first heard of Tim’s plight, only a short month or so ago we couldn’t believe that the guy who may have been in the top one percent of the cleanest living people on earth could possibly have contracted liver and lung cancer. This is the same guy who after trouncing most if not all of his opponents at the local and not so local races could be seen walking around eating his own health food mixture of breakfast food and asking other runners, “How did your race go today?”. Tim usually prefaced any conversation with a similar statement, “How’s your running going?”. Not just to the elites, but everyone he knew. His latest “stunt” running in costume – he has about 25 of them wasn’t just to gain attention, but to “keep running fun”. It did the trick for him and for lots of others, possibly including those police who eyed him curiously on his daily runs.

I’ve neither space nor adequate memory to do justice to all those who contributed to the Superman Relay in so many ways. But, many of us will be praying for him to beat this latest and most dangerous of his many opponents. For any of you who would like to help, donations will be accepted by: TSCF c/o Katz Law Firm 106 E. College Ave. Tallahassee, 32301. Make checks out to Tim Simpkins Cancer Fund.