Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm sure most have heard at this point about the untimely death of a friend and a great member of this community. Steve Larsen was at the Tuesday workout last night and collapsed a little more than 400 meters into the first 800 of the workout. He was not able to be revived despite constant CPR, and the efforts of the medics when they arrived and took him to St. Charles. This was a traumatic experience for all of us there on Tuesday. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I hope they will not mind this perspective.

Steve has athletic accolades basically beyond compare. More importantly, Steve was easy to admire in how he lived his life. I was always amazed and appreciative to watch this legendary endurance athlete buy his shoes just like anyone else. Accepting of advice, never asking for special treatment, or acting as though he were any more significant than the next person. This is a man who'd had real sponsors forever, yet he'd occasionally sport a footzone shirt at races without request or recognition. Whether at the shop, getting coffee, on a run or with his family, Steve was always energetic, calm, well put together, and kind. When I'd see he and Carrie over the years with 1,2,3 then 5 children, they always seemed to carry themselves with grace and goodness. They are parents I admire, seeming to pursue their own interests and their family with great passion. I'm sure it was not so easy and my image may be an unrealistic one, but I also never saw anything to change it. Over the years, all that I have witnessed shows me what a good man Steve was, what a strong, caring woman that Carrie is, and what bright, beautiful children they have. Other than the Tuesday workouts, my past few encounters with Steve have been him bringing his children in for running shoes and track spikes. It is perhaps hardest now to think of those interactions and the kind of respect that his kids showed for him and the love, respect, and enthusiasm he clearly had for them. It is something I will try to emulate in my own life. Steve Larsen was in fact the whole package. He was often "the" athlete in a community that prizes its athletes, but will be remembered for so many reasons. I thank him for all that he brought to this town, to the fz, and for the example that he showed to all that he came in contact with.

After we'd all warmed up last night, Steve wandered my way as instructions were going out for the workout. I was asking if we we're going to do some strides and Steve was good naturedly ribbing me saying "come on man, we warmed up, lets just go!" We did a couple strides, we went, and he will be missed- Teague

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