NeveHarms Steve Shostrom has been involved in every progressive step in the phenomenal growth of road racing in the Peoria area. He began distance running and road racing in the early seventies at a time when road racing and marathons were looked upon as a curious type of sport.
In December 1973, he, with the co-assistance of Red McGraw, now assistant track coach at Bradley University, founded the Illinois Valley Striders, an organization devoted to improving the quality of road racing and to helping runners in their own self-improvement. It has grown from an original membership of seven to over 1,000, one of Central Illinois' largest participating sports clubs. Steve has been president of the Illinois Valley Striders since its beginning.
Shostrom has been race director for countless races in the Peoria area. By far, the most prominent is the Steamboat Classic. From 158 runners who competed in the first Steamboat race, the 1983 Steamboat Classic attracted 2,010 runners, a tribute to the dedication of Steve to promotion and direction of road racing. The Steamboat Classic is now a cornerstone race of the Illinois Grand Prix circuit throughout the State of Illinois.
Steve has won a number of honors for his own performance as a runner. He is most proud of being the first Peorian in the Boston Marathon in 1973 with a two hour and thirty-five minute finishing time.
Shostrom is a supervisory attorney at the National Labor Relations Board where he has been employed for 16 years. In addition to being president of the Illinois Valley Striders, he is vice president of the National Road Runners Club of America, and has been on the Park District Recreation Committee for ten years.
Steve Shostrom has been involved in every progressive step in the phenomenal growth of road racing in the Peoria area. He began distance running and road racing in the early seventies at a time when road racing and marathons were looked upon as a curious type of sport.
A two-sport star (baseball and basketball) at both Limestone High School and Illinois Central College, Thome went on to a legendary baseball career as one of the top sluggers in Major League Baseball history. A 13th-round selection by the Cleveland Indians in 1989, Thome made his MLB debut in 1991. After a 22-year career with Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles, Thome ranks seventh in Major League history with 612 home runs and 24th with 1,699 runs batted in, while boasting a .276 career batting average. He was a five-time All-Star and received Most Valuable Player votes in nine different seasons. Thome helped Cleveland to World Series appearances in both 1995 and 1997 and he hit 17 career postseason home runs. Thome led the American League in slugging in 2002 (.677) and the National League with 47 home runs in 2003 and he received a 1996 Silver Slugger Award. Thome also was the 2006 Americal League Comeback Player of the Year. Recognized for his integrity, sportsmanship and community involvement, Thome received the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2001 and 2004, as well as the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2004 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Cleveland organization dedicated a statue of Thome outside Progressive Field following his official retirement in 2014.