Running for a Cause
December 26, 2012
If you asked Dr. Timothy Noonan of Urbandale Family Physicians several years ago if he would run a marathon, he would have probably told you no. But, a family emergency inspired him to lace up his running shoes and accomplish the 26.2 mile feat.
In February 2010, Tim's father, Dan, suffered a major stroke due to a carotid artery dissection that occurred while he was playing tennis. As a very healthy and active farmer who was only 55 years old, Dan's stroke came as a shock to the Noonan family and the community of Ayrshire, Iowa. Dan nearly died due to the severity of the stroke and spent a week in the ICU at Mayo. But, despite losing his ability to talk and move the right side of his body, Dan pulled through. Dan rehabbed in several locations, including Younker Rehab at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, before finally returning home in the fall of 2010. He has made a remarkable recovery, regaining his speaking abilities and most of his mobility. Today, Dan is back to his farming, and has perfected the art of maneuvering his farm equipment while using just one arm.
"My dad can't run anymore, and I know how much he wishes he still could," said Tim. "I felt I needed to take advantage of my health, and I thought running a marathon was a great way to seize the day and show my dad how much he inspired me."
Tim decided to run his first marathon, the New York City marathon, as a member of the National Stroke Association team. Through donations, Tim was able to raise $3,000 for the stroke-related charity. He trained for five months, using the Des Moines half-marathon as a tune-up race for the big day. But, two days before the NYC marathon, Tim received the news that the race would not be run because of Hurricane Sandy's impact on the Northeast. Immediately, Tim searched online for upcoming marathons and decided on the Philadelphia Marathon, running for the Magee Rehab Foundation, which works with stroke patients.
"Toward the end of the race, I was definitely gritting it out through tired and aching legs. But, thinking of my dad while I was running kept me going," said Tim. "I really don't think I would have been able to do it without the extra motivation I had on my side."
Tim finished the race in 3:55, which was under his goal of less than 4 hours. Looking forward, Tim hopes to participate in the 2013 NYC marathon.
"My dad was really happy that I did the marathon, and I was really happy I made him proud."