Sunday, May 24, 2009

Steve Larsen - March 13, 1970 – May 19, 2009

It's with a sad irony that this follows a post about my 48th Birthday.

I did not know Steve that well. I certainly knew of him, and his extraordinary accomplishments in road cycling, mountain biking and also triathlon. He was an amazing and talented athlete. I only first met Steve at Ironman Hawaii last year. At the Pro meeting, I introduced myself to him. Before my time at Nineteen wetsuits, Steve had been one of the first and very few U.S. retailers to sell Nineteen wetsuits at his Davis Wheelworks shop. When we met in Hawaii he mentioned that he was going to be opening a new online triathlon store - He suggested that we should talk about working together again at some point.

Through the winter and the spring we chatted on the phone several times - most recently just a few weeks ago. What amazed me about these conversations was that we really did not talk that much about the business of wetsuits, but about many other triathlon and cycling related topics, our families and being fathers, and that the conversations lasted such a long time. I felt a bit guilty. In sales, I always try and respect people's time - but Steve seemed to have all the time in the world to chat. When I would hang up, I kept thinking about, the 5 kids that he had, the realestate business, the new tri retailing business, and the training that he had to put in to be the great athlete that he was, and how it is that he could be that generous with his time to talk to little old me!

Sadly, that time is now fleeting and precious. Steve died of some form of yet undiagnosed heart complications doing a track workout on Tuesday evening this week. He was 39 years old. He leaves his wife, his five children and a legion of friends and fans.

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