Wednesday, May 20, 2009

RIP Steve Larsen

It was last June, Ironman Coeur d'Alene, that I raced Steve Larsen. I trained in preparation to race Tom Evans, Victor Zymetsev, Michael Lovato, and Steve Larsen. I knew I had my work cut out for me, and I wanted to be right in the thick of it against these guys. And I was. I finished 7th that day, after being passed 1 mile from the finish, holding on to dear life.

I had spent the first 2/3rd's of the day trying to hold off Steve Larsen. The last 1/3rd was trying to chase him down, hoping I could run him down. He is/was the best cyclist America has ever seen. Yes, better than Lance. No cyclist has ever done what he has done with a bicycle. Made the World Championships in road racing, mountain biking, on the track, and cyclo-cross. He raced on the Motorola team with Lance.

When he moved to Ironman, he became a force, winning Lake Placid in 2001, and pushing the best triathletes in the world to the finish line. He even finished 9th in Kona.

I knew that day last June he would be tough to beat, and I was anxious to see if I could beat him. I did not. He humbled me, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I wanted to test myself against the best, and I am very thankful to have toed the line against him at least once in my career. The photos in this post are of Steve from that day.

Steve Larsen died yesterday of an apparent heart attack during a track workout, at 39 years of age. He is survived by his 5 kids, and loving wife Carrie.

Steve and I never met outside of the race course, but I'll miss him. Rest in peace, Steve.

1 comment:

ckotte said...

Tragic news. This certainly keeps life in perspective... I had a wake up call last year after the Half-Ironman in Morgantown. Chest pain, etc...Doctors telling me I won't be leaving until I had a heart cath. Thankfully, I am alive... My heart goes out to his family and friends.

I never knew Steve, but he is a legend and someone I found myself always rooting for.

Sad day.