Steve King - Vancouver Scotiabank Half Marathon - 2011

In what many of us would call absolutely natural, Steve King has been inducted into the BC Athletics Hall of Fame. It has been my pleasure and honour to call Steve FRIEND for a good many years. Although I can’t identify the precise day we met, it would have been about 1985 when we both lived and ran in the Okanagan Valley of BC. At the time, Steve was a member of the Penticton Pounders and I was running with the Summerland Road Runners. Later we became members of the same club when the two amalgamated. Steve’s induction and reasons for deserving this honour are found on this link, and near the bottom of the document. If there was ever a doubt as to why he has been recognized, well, a quick scan of the lists of his accomplishments should settle that matter! And, I will warn you that just reading his list of achievements and ongoing activities may wear you out, but get a second wind and keep on with my commentary here. I think there is more to learn – at least I hope so.

Bob's Border Busters - Hood to Coast

I want to offer my personal congratulations and a few brief comments that may be a little different from the official ones. As may be obvious from the first bit of this posting, my first introduction to Steve was as an athlete – and a mighty fine one at that. Steve was still in a prime part of his competing days, maybe not even quite advanced enough to be a ‘seasoned athlete’. For my part, I didn’t even start this road running thing until I was already qualified as ‘seasoned’. So, not that I was ever in Steve’s class as an athlete although I considered myself a decent runner in those days, my memories of competing against him were mostly the sight of the back of his singlet, as he raced away from me. We were members of several relay teams, including my very first Hood to Coast team. Don’t we all look a good deal younger!?!  (Steve, standing third from left – me, standing second from right.)

But, as good an athlete as he has been (race walker, runner, triathlete) what most people remember about Steve is his warmth and caring approach to other people. Who in our communities has not thrilled to hear him call out our names as we hit the finish of some race? It is always so personal. I will never forget the impact it had on a club member of Pacific Road Runners who was doing his first triathlon. I knew Steve was calling the race, so fed him just a wee bit of information about this chap. Afterwards, I casually asked how that first ‘Tri’ had gone and listened while he described how Steve had given him the treatment every time he passed through transition and at the finish! I know this guy will never forget that race. OK, so there was just a little collusion there, but just because I had passed on the information, nothing said Steve had to do anything with it.

So many times we don’t see the little things that encourage people outside the lime-light. The words of encouragement to new athletes trying something for the first time, including my own daughter Danielle as she prepared to do her very first triathlon. His perspective and encouragement on those of us maybe trying to overcome issues such as injuries is another part of the package. I venture to say that almost everyone who encounters Steve King has their own story, and that is why I am going to just stop now. This is where you can insert your own Steve Stories. And, if you think they are really good, why not add them here by way of a comment?

What I do know is that this recognition is so very well deserved and I want to offer personal congratulations to Steve. I also want to go one step further in noting that behind every good man is a good woman and I know Steve would be first to say that without the support of his goodly wife Jean, so much of what he is recognized for, might just not be possible.


  1. Nancy Tinari
    12.17.2012 - 5:25pm

    I’m sure there are thousands of us racers in BC alone (and countless others all over the world) who have experienced coming through a finish line and having the thrill of hearing Steve’s voice announcing our name. With Steve, it’s always more than just saying a name. Steve’s announcing is personal, warm and dramatic. He conveys his understanding that to EVERY racer, crossing that finish line is a special achievement. I’ve witnessed Steve announcing at the Victoria Marathon weekend for HOURS–it seems a superhuman feat–and he never loses that trademark enthusiasm of his. Steve gives every race he announces at an extra bit of class and professionalism. I just want to add my own THANK YOU STEVE to yours, Dan.

  2. RITZadmin
    12.17.2012 - 6:26pm

    Nancy, so well said. That is precisely the Steve we all know. As you say, he sees every finish as important. I have been there as he sits and waits for the last – the very last, participant to cross that line. I think he knows that THAT finish is more important in some ways than the first across the line!

  3. Shonna
    12.17.2012 - 7:45pm

    I have a Steve King story! Although I didn’t know his name at the time, I do now!
    It was the last H2H race and our team had finished up and we were headed to the finish line in Harrison for the festivities. Driving in to Harrison there were still some stragglers finishing their last 8km leg, some seemed to be having a hard time, slowly making it in. One person we saw from behind from about a block away, and he was slightly staggering, and walking on the outside of his feet…something was definitely challenging this kid. We looked back to see how he was doing as we passed him and someone noticed that he had on a different number bib with a low number and we realized he was at the end of his 100km, and really struggling. I had this desire to get out of the car immediately to see if he was okay. The folks in the car kept going the mile longer to park. I got out of the car like a bat out of hell, and ran the route backwards to find this kid who had appeared to be struggling so severely. I found the guy, and he was really out of it, barely moving, wobbly, not present. I had no idea how to help him, so I kind of jumped in front of him and said, “Hey, how’s it going? Are your knees bugging you?” It took him a second but he managed to answer, very slowly, something about his feet.(I swear this story is about Steve King….just hang in there). I told him he was really close to the finish line. He kind of perked up slightly with that info. I said “You are so close you are going to hear the announcer’s voice in a few more seconds, I swear!” He totally perked up at this, he said “STEVE KING?” And he stood tall, listened acutely, heard Steve’s voice, and bolted away for the last couple hundred metres! Turns out he was a 30 year old, I believe from Victoria if I recall, and he was finishing his first 100km Ultra! Steve KIng’s voice totally brought him in to finish that great mission in the last H2H!

  4. RITZadmin
    12.17.2012 - 10:34pm

    That was a pretty good one Shonna! Anybody else got a Steve King story?