Missoula Marathon

Jul 9, 2013 7:30 PM by Dan Cimmino - KPAX News

A Missoula marathon runner whose heart almost didn't make it

MISSOULA - It requires determination, stamina and most importantly, heart.

Meet Dave Norman. If you're a country music fan you may recognize his voice from the radio on Eagle 93. And when Dave isn't behind the mic he likes to keep busy training for triathlons achieving a personal ironman status. However it was just a year ago when Dave's life changed forever.

The date was May 19th of 2012. Dave was participating in the Peak Triathlon when suddenly here at Blue Mountain his heart started to give way and the doctors say he only had a 1 in 10 chance of survival

"Like if your car has got something in the fuel injection and it's just like ‘uhhhhh.' It was kind of like that. I got the throttle all the way down. I can't push it any further yet I'm lugging up this hill. What really brought it home was when the doctor was explaining what happened. There's an artery in the heart, they call it the ‘widow maker.' It's called the ‘widow maker' for a reason it supplies the heart with about 65 percent of its blood. And that was the one that was blocked. And I looked over at my daughter.....and she was tearing up pretty bad. That is what brought it home," said Norman.

After a year Dave still has difficulty believing his heart attack even occurred...

"It was a big awakening realizing that immortality has not been bestowed upon me. I'm still wrestling with the whole state of denial. Part of it is waking up from a dream, "did this really happen?" And I got those tags that clatter every once in a while that remind me that yes in fact it did," said Norman.

Remarkably Dave says he's even faster now than before and for the first time in 17 years Dave will be going all 26.2 miles on foot in this year's Missoula Marathon.

"They say you can start training for your next marathon when you forget how much the first one hurt. So the joke goes my stupid brother in law says "hey Dave, let's do the Missoula Marathon" and his equally stupid brother in law says "yeah, that's a great idea, let's do that," said Norman.

All jokes aside, Dave and his heart are more than ready for Sunday's race. Dave has run in 4 Ironman competitions in the past among other events and hopes to run this weekend's Missoula Marathon in under 4 hours.

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