Friday, May 22, 2009

How to help the Larsen family

You have all probably heard by now the very sad news about Steve Larsen. We are overwhelmed with sadness. Steve was a good friend and a great guy. He was an amazing athlete and businessman, but most of all it was easy to tell that his pride in life was as a husband and a father to five beautiful kids. The world does not seem right without Steve Larsen.

Since it has happened, all we have been able to think is "how can we help" and we have heard that from some of you as well. So we wanted to let you know how we can all help to support the Larsen family:

Celebrate his Life: Steve's Memorial Service is Saturday, May 23rd at 1 pm at Les Schwab Amphitheater. Many people are planning to meet at Drake park at 12:30 and run or bike to the service.

Contribute to the Steve Larsen Memorial Fund that will go to the Larsen family. This fund is set up at Umpqua Bank. You can drop a check off at any Umpqua bank branch, at Fleet Feet Bend or at Footzone or you can mail a check to:

Steve Larsen Memorial Fund
Umpqua Bank
390 SW Century Drive Suite 100
Bend OR 97702
Hopefully, you will also be able to contribute online in a few days if you check this site:

Or, if you prefer, Katie Caba is kindly organizing dinners for the family. You can donate money that will be used to purchase gift cards at dinner places for the family. (Also by dropping off a check at Fleet Feet or Footzone.) If you want to donate a home-cooked dinner, contact us and we can put you in touch with the right people.

Finally, next Friday afternoon (May 29th) at 4:30pm there is an exhibition steeplechase, the only non-high school event open to the public, being held at Summit High School as part of the Oregon Elite Championship Meet. They are asking for a $5 minimum donation as a fundraiser for the family of Steve Larsen.

Steve brought so much to our community. We want to rally around the Larsen family so that they know they are not alone.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My time with Steve Larsen

Just sad.  That is the feeling that has been overwhelming me since Tuesday night when I first heard of Steve Larsen's collapse.  
The sadness is in so many areas.  Mostly, of course, for his family.  Then, for the community.  In a town that seems to be overflowing with great athletes, he topped the list.  How cool was it that we got to compete in local races against one of the best in the world?
I met Steve years ago through other local runners.  I was immediately drawn to his presence.  Handsome, fast, extremely personable, he had a magnetic presence.  In time, he became a friend.  I respected his opinions on training, real estate, and life.
When I first thought of opening a Fleet Feet store, he was the first person that I confided in that I was thinking about opening a running store.    When he gave me a whole hearted endorsement, I felt like I could finally really dive into the project.  
As my realtor, he was the total professional.  I remember feeling trepidation in using a friend as a realtor, but as in all things in his life, he was the total professional.  I had more respect for him professionally and as a friend after buying our building than before we started.  
My last contact with Steve was last Thursday.  We got together in the morning at the shop and shared a coffee before I opened the store.  We talked about the normal stuff;  training, upcoming races, some real estate gossip, and family.  And, now he's gone.  Steve was a mentor to me.  And I miss him.
So, as a town, I hope we can celebrate his life.  I won't lie, its hard for me to find positives right now.  It doesn't seem fair.  How can you do ALL the right things and end up having something like this happen?  Steve was the picture of health and fitness.  He was a great family man and a trust worthy businessman.  So, it just doesn't sit well with me.   As time passes, I hope that I can look back and just look fondly that all he accomplished and created; and that is a lot.  Right now my thoughts and prayers are with his family and I look forward to celebrating his life this Saturday.
Lastly, many will be gathering in Drake Park at 12:30 this coming Saturday and running, walking, or cycling to his memorial service which will be right behind the Les Schwab Amphitheater.  I hope to see lots of you there.
Rod Bien

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lots Going On!

Darla, on her way to the win at Mac Forest 50K!
Man, I sure need to be better about updating this blog!  There is always so much going on that I get overwhelmed on where to begin.
So, I'll start with the Eugene Marathon.  We have just started a "Fleet Feet" racing team.  We sent over three of our athletes to tackle the course.  Laura Kantor ran her first marathon in 4:46. Laura owns a very special place in our heart.  She was one of our fist customers and has lost well over 100 pounds in her journey as a runner.   Another one of our runners, Dave Krayeski, who ran his first marathon in 3:48.   And lastly, our own Chad Baker, who coaches both of those runners, ran the 1/2 marathon in 1:41.  So, a big congratulations to them and everyone who toed the line in Eugene.  I'm hoping to be able to get over there next year!
Secondly, two more Fleet Feet racers went over to run the McDonald Forest 50K this last weekend.  Darla Askew did okay.... NOT!  She won!  She has become one of the quicker runners in the PNW and we are all very excited for her!  Chris Askew, her husband, also ran a great race to finish just seconds behind her!
And, here at the shop, we've been busy with the coming of spring and summer.  Lots of new shoes on the wall which is always fun.
Our training groups have been a blast as well.  Our 1/2 marathon and "No Boundaries" beginner running programs are going great and it has been so exciting for us to see the progress of the runners as each week passes.
Now, let's get out there and run!!