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.
Hockey was a sport local fans could watch only if they went to Chicago or St. Louis until BardezBanian founded the Peoria Stars in 1959.
The two were with the Pekin Stars until 1970, when they formed the Peoria Blades, on the outdoor rink at Logan, in 1971. The Logan "bubble" went up the next year and the Blades, through membership in the Continental League, gave Peoria a solid taste of hockey.
BardezBanian played with the Blades for a few years, then became president while Olson always served as the team's general manager.
And the two gave hockey a boost whenever they could. BardezBanian coached the Bradley University club team for many years and both were instrumental in starting and maintaining youth hockey in Pekin and Peoria.
Both are now retired, Olson from Caterpillar's Mossville plant and BardezBanian from a management position with the City of Peoria.