Remembering Steve Larsen

Join us in offering a remembrance of Steve Larsen, who passed away at the age of 39 on May 19, 2009. Steve was a loving family man, loyal

friend, and world-class athlete who inspired everyone he met. Please contribute photos and text to this website. We hope this site will become a lasting and positive refuge for Steve's family and friends.

Steve in the News

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Wow, what can you say about a champion like Steve...
I first met him in 1990 when I showed up to fly to Europe for the first time with the national team. Steve was much younger than I was but was already a "true pro" and showed me how to travel and act like a professional. We were roomates and he brought me to Greg LeMond's favorite bike shop near Roubaix for a souvieur, rode by Greg's house and then to the Roubaix velodrome. He calmed me down and showed me the routine of a pro.
I later "raced" pro mountain bike racing and was blown away by the talent Steve had, rising quickly to the top of the sport and showing amazing technical skills to match his endurance, again the consumate pro.
Then Tri...wow, seriously, what can you say? Amazing man!
A prayer to his family, the community and sport for the loss of a real renaissance pro and champion.
Craig Undem - May 29, 2009
While I only had one brief encounter with Steve, it touched me what a nice, kind and gentle guy he was. I was on the ferry on the way out to start "Escape from Alcatraz" triathlon in 2002 and was extremely nervous. I am from New York and this was my first "big" tri so I was along way from home and in over my head. The guy next to me was kind of enough to chat me up for the entire boat ride while getting ready and give me plenty of pointers to make sure I made it out of the water in one piece. He explained what buildings to aim for while swimming and to not get worried if anything went wrong. I remember as I swam to shore that this "random" guy really helped me out and saved my hide that day and I would love to one day say thank you. Sure enough, months later while I am was watching the TV broadcast I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw my "random" friend hanging with the leaders of the race. I have always been impressed by how down to earth Steve was even though technically he was in a completely different league than me and most others on that boat. Here he was competing to win so that he could provide for his family and he finds the time to give advice and help calm a newbie. I have stuck with tri's over the years and whenever I race I always make it a point to find that "lost" newbie and reassure them that they will be fine. If Steve hadn't done that for me I am sure I wouldn't think to pass it on. While our paths crossed for only a brief moment on one day years back Steve left me better than he found me. That is a true sign of a life well lived. While it is 7 years too late, Thank you Steve. God Bless his family in this extremely difficult time but know that your father and husband was and still is a great man and is looking down on all of you. All the best- Joe O'C
- May 29, 2009
For many years, I have read about the athlete Steve, and I always thought, gosh, he is soooo incredibly talented in so many different areas. Then Steve retired to focus on his businesses, and again was very successful as a businessman. A couple of years ago I saw him at the Half Vineman - he had trained little and modestly raced as an age grouper, and he rocked. I thought Wow! again.
More importantly, Steve always put his role as a dad and husband first, and I admire this quality so much.
A few months ago my husband and I started working with Steve and Carrie, and he amazed me once again, and my husband had found his hero in Steve.
Steve was awesome to work with, he had great ideas, and I really wanted to meet him one day to tell him in person how inspiring he is.
Carrie and kids, your husband and dad was an all around awesome person, I am so very sorry he is gone.
Sylvie Linke
Sylvie Linke - May 28, 2009
I didnt ever have the pleasure of meeting Steve, but the way he raced was a true inspiration to me and someone I looked up as a role model.
Neil - May 28, 2009
I was deeply saddened by the news of Steve's passing. My memories of Steve during the year I coached were his incredible drive, passion, and professionalism. He was a pleasure to coach, and incredibly strong headed as well! In fact, in subsequent years when we crossed paths, he would often joke with me about "what a pain in the 'butt' he was to coach!" - his words, and all light hearted of course. His strong will and self belief were a big part of his success and I always respected him for that.

I am sure his strength and spirit will live on through his beautiful children.

Lance Watson
Lance Watson - May 28, 2009
Carrie and family I am so sorry for your loss. Most of my memories of Steve center around when he stayed with us (the Kloser Family) in May and June of 1995. Steve, Mike and Gary Ford had just returned from the spring mountain bike world cups in Europe. Steve made himself right at home with us. He made these giant chocolate chip cookies from Carrie's recipe. They were so good and then he told me how much butter he put him them! Steve and Carrie had just found out they were going to be parents and he was so excited. Steve asked me a lot of questions about babies. I also remember that his t-shirts always looked like he ironed them. So many funny things happened during his stay with us. Steve always tried to do everything well. In Hawaii, when he helped Mike bury our kids in the sand they didn't get little holes they got giant holes to be buried in. Steve was a fine person and I love that the emphasis has been placed on his children and his marriage being his greatest accomplishment. He has left a wonderful legacy. Thanks for the memories.
Emily Kloser - May 28, 2009
I was a resident of Bend for only a few days when I was abruptly introduced to Steve in the middle of a Saturday Hutches ride.
A cocky Cat.5 rider, I thought I had what it took to work with Steve around the front of the pack....I was wrong. Steve used a few choice words to let me know that my inability to pull through was not appreciated, and I went home with a completely wrong impression. I have absolutely no doubt that Steve was the source of my drive to want to return to the Hutches rides and become a better rider. Steves relentless effort pushed me and many other riders to their limits each and every Saturday. Without those Saturdays, I simply WOULD NOT be a Cat.3 rider today. It touches my heart when I think back on a recent Saturday ride when I pulled through with Steve and he gave me the nod, and without saying a word, I could see in his face that he remembers that day, and acknowledged my progress, as I acknowledged his leadership. Thankyou Steve Larsen...I never said it...but you were always my inspiration.
Scotty Steinman
Scotty Steinman - May 27, 2009
Met Steve only twice, he would never know my name, but that is no matter, I will always remember him.
First time was at Wheelworks. Asked a simple question which turned in to a twenty minute conversation. He did not know me, but,I knew who I was talking to.....I soaked up every word as he literally walked down the street with me on his way to get something to eat for lunch.
One more encounter, equally friendly, and just as inspiring, but yet subtle.

Third encounter however: Saw him on his bike, returning to T2 as I was heading out during a local short course race........needless to say nobody in sight behind him. I was alone. Thru mirrored lenses, he looked at me and smiled. I was floored. Certainly did not recognize me..but smiled.

Great Athlete, no question, and none could argue.
Extraordinary Character, that is the measure of this man. Father, Husband.

Kid on the bike, and all he was will be passed on through his wife and children, and all of us will benefit.
Tim - May 27, 2009
A huge thank you to everyone for their support. It means so much to the kids to read all the great things written about their Dad. The memories will be kept alive through this website.

I'm still smiling at the picture of Steve as the Prince in the Nutcracker. I was a dancing doll that year and theater was not my calling.

Have Fun. Go Fast.
Carrie and kids
Carrie Larsen - May 27, 2009
Warren and I had only met Steve, Carrie and the kids at the Dietzs' house on Easter Sunday, just the month before Steve's passing. What a beautiful and loving family, wonderful people, and what a loss for their friends and extended family. Steve will be greatly missed in our community. I am sorry we didn't have the opportunity to know them longer. Our sincere condolences to Steve's lovely family.
LaJuana West - May 27, 2009
While I never actually met Steve, he happened to be one of my early inspirations in the sport of triathlon. On May 3rd, 2003 I stood very much out of shape at the bottom of Lynch Hill at Lake San Antonio and watched Steve battle it out with Tim De Boom on a windy overcast day at Wildflower. It was the first time that I had been to a long course triathlon and I was in awe of the athletes and the event. When I got home and started reading the news about the race I was drawn to the fact that Steve Larsen was formally a bike rider who had switched over to triathlon. As someone with a non-swimming background I found great motivation and inspiration in his story and decided to immerse myself in the sport.

Six years on and I am still very much involved in triathlon and have made countless trips to Wildflower as an athlete since that overcast day in 2003. Next year when I run down Lynch Hill at the end of the long course race I will think back to 2003. When I pass the spot where I stood that day cheering on Steve and the other athletes, I will whisper Thank You!

It is a sure sign of a great man when he can provide motivation and inspiration to people that he has never met. Steve Larsen provided motivation and inspiration to me.

Rest in peace.
Simon Sampson
Simon Sampson - May 27, 2009
He had an amazing smile and will remember him fondly. The days hanging out with the Austin's growing up. You will be missed.

Stephanie Beavers Schoen
Stephanie Beavers Schoen - May 27, 2009
We in the Challenge family of triathlon are deeply saddened to hear about Steve's passing. Steve raced at the Quelle Challenge Roth in 2002, traveling to Germany with his family. Over the years we got to know him not only as a competitor but as a friend. We send our deepest condolences to Carrie and the children and to his many friends around the world from his friends in Roth, Germany.

Felix Walchshoefer
CEO Challenge Family
Roth, Germany
Felix Walchshoefer - May 27, 2009
I don't have words for the sadness and shock that have overtaken me with news that Steve has passed away. My heartfelt condolences go to his beautiful family and to his friends. I got to know Steve when he made the transition to multisport and will remember him as a terrific competitor, a gifted and gritty athlete, an honest and generous businessman, a gracious interview subject even at the end of epic races in Kona and on Maui, and most importantly as a man whose love for his family was evident in everything he ever did. Our sport has lost a genuine sportsman and a true gentleman.
Amy White - May 27, 2009
This is the saddest news. Although I didn't know Steve very well, I remember him from the Davis Nutcracker- I think he was a prince one year! I do remember Carrie well and just wanted to send her and her family love and prayers. I'm so sorry.

Sylvia Fierro
Sylvia Fierro - May 26, 2009
As as a mountian biker I mourn the loss of steve larson. As a husband I am sad to see what he has left behind. I met Steve once and was touched by the amount of time he spent with me asking training questions and such. This is such a loss, my prayers and best wishes to steves family.
Tony Degear - May 26, 2009
The triathlon community here in Santa Rosa received the news with shock and sadness. Not far from his Davis roots, were lucky enough to see him in action. He was an incredible athlete, a giving and friendly person.
I am sure you know, Steve came to Santa Rosa and tore up the course at Vineman. It was no contest. He was kind enough to share some of his personal time to come talk to the North Coast Triathlon Club, more commonly known as the Tri-Dogs. Everyone in the room was captivated by his talk, personal stories, insight on training and racing.
It was a fun night. In exchange, we bought him a mediocre meal. Beyond that, we wanted to somehow show Steve what it meant that he took the time away from his family to talk to a bunch of pie-eyed triathletes. Well, the attached document was the result of that effort. In all seriousness, we were honored. We here in Santa Rosa WILL remember Steve Larsen. And while the Tri-Dog club is now pretty much dissolved, we might just have to put on a club race with all proceeds going to your cause; the memory of a gifted athlete and his beautiful family.
Our best,
Shelly Lydon
Former Tri-Dog President
Shelly Lydon - May 26, 2009
I still remember the first time I ever met Steve. I was a 13 year old up-and-coming cyclist and idolized him ever since I found out who he was and his phenomenal accomplishments. The first day I ever met him, I walked into Wheelworks, he shook my hand and introduced himself. We talked for a little while before I rode back home. I was so excited that he shook my hand it took me 4 days to shower because I didn't want wash off whatever magical speed he gave me. My mom (Joan Anton) got a huge kick out of it, but little did I know, Carrie and Steve would ask me to work for them a few months later.
Sadly this was illegal since I was still 13, but on my 14th birthday, I ran all over town, to my Jr High, back to the shop, back to the jr high filling out paperwork so i could work for them. My mom came in around 5 PM after I had been gone since 9AM on my 14th birthday, visibly stressed out because she had no idea where I had been. It was one of the best birthdays ever.
I continued to work for both Steve and later Joe until I moved away to college and continue to pass along the incredible amounts of knowledge they passed onto me over the years. Not only was Steve a good boss, but an amazing mentor, coaching me at the Wednesday night time trials and watching his every move until he was out of sight on the race rides.
I hope that I will be able to touch and educate lives in the manner that Steve did for me.

Blake Anton
Architecture, Cal Poly SLO
Blake Anton - May 26, 2009
Steve and I raced mountain bikes together many moons ago, and while I stepped away from Pro sports a long time ago, Steve was like an Energizer bunny that keeps going, going and going. He will be terribly missed.
Herbert - May 26, 2009
Steve and Carrie helped to start the Mad Cow Triathlon team in Davis Ca. He and his wife Carrie, and their children hosted the team at their home. Team members always felt special as Steve would give away prizes he had won or recieved. How stoked was I to have professional athlete Steve Larsen throwing me a new pair of Rudy Project glasses across a crowed room of athletes? He got wetsuit vendors to come to the Davis pool and demo suits with us, he got Pearl Izumi to provide custom Steve Larsen original kits for us, first in black and blue and then in black and red. Perhaps my prodest moment on a bike was having Steve train 6-8 of us on private traing sessions south of Davis...during one Tuesday night race ride, I was planning to simply sit in and take it easy, I was flattered to have Steve drop back and tell me to hammer off the front, cuz I was "too strong" to suck wheel in the back...you can imagine my rest plan was tossed out the window as I took a flyer toward Stevenson Bride with a strong push from Steve!

My hope is that Carrie is given all the love and support needed to survive the next few years. A husband so young, clearly had his hand in so many wonderful things. I hope that promoters and former sponsors (Pearl, Rudy, Cervelo, LL Bean, etc..) find a way to honor Steve by making the raising of his family more graceful for Carrie. Steve led by example and I hope we can all return the favor.
Star Stevenson-Physical Therapist
4:22 miler
President www.2wheelracing.com
Star Stevenson - May 25, 2009
I met Steve at the OTC Junior Dec Camp in Colo Springs in 1985. He was, quite simply, the most talented rider of my generation. He tore my legs off when we were juniors, he tore them off when we were Seniors, and later he tore by me in Triathlon (I could outswim him for awhile). It was an honor to race with him, such a professional in every way. In the 1990 Mayor's Cup in Portland, I was in a break with him and he was going so hard, he utterly asphyxiated me and I couldn't pull through even though I wanted to or even SPEAK when he asked me too! I told him that story at a tri in 2001, he remembered & he chuckled. He set the bar high in all he did:
work, family, athletics. He was incredible and was taken from us too soon.
Dave Campbell - May 25, 2009
I remember Steve first asking about Carrie, back in high school. He knew what he wanted and went after it with everything in him, both in his personal life and his athletic career.

Steve's passing is truly heartbreaking. I'm mourning with you Carrie, with your beautiful kids, and with the Larsen and Feldman families. Love and strength to you all.
Shauna Jonas Witt - May 25, 2009
A champion, a gentleman, a loyal and devoted family man, this is how I have always felt about and will always remember Steve.

He left a trail of inspiration wherever he went.

Even when he moved from Davis to Bend his energy an spirit remained in so many of us who had the honor to train and to work with him.

To this day I remember every piece of advice he generously gave me. He had a way of planting a seed in your mind that you could be great at what you do, as long as you believe in what you are doing.

My favorite thing about Steve was seeing the love and joy in his eyes when he talked about his family. He would talk about his amazing wife and how he hoped he could keep up with his kids snowboarding.

The title of champion transcended every aspect of his life.

He will be missed, but his trail of inspiration will always be there.

May the wind always be at your back.
Lydia
Lydia - May 25, 2009
I remember racing against steve when i was in my early 20's i once remember him powering away from the pack and i could only watch in awe- (quite helpless to respond) and remember this guy is not human. rest in peace...
Greg Vega - May 25, 2009
We were doing the Saturday Wheelworks ride...Steve says "Ok, we'll do this and go here, and then I've got to get on a plane and go to New Zealand."

And then we do two hours out past Winters and back and and somebody gets a flat and he fixes it because he sold the guy the bike in the first place and the next time I see him is three weeks later on TV praising his competitors ahead of the Ironman.

A pro athlete in all aspects. Bummer he's gone, he lived a good life.
CGB - May 25, 2009
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