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.
As a man devoted to sports, Mick Donahue contributed an essential (and sometimes underappreciated) service to organized sports in Peoria for decades. His passion for athletics began as a youth as a participant in the Salvation Army Junior League Tournament and Proctor Center Basketball League. At Peoria Manual High School in the early 50’s, he played on the baseball team. After graduating from Manual, he was a player/manager on the LeTourneau-Westinghouse team in the old Industrial League, which was one of the nation’s top amateur sports organizations at the time.
Mick spent much of his life coaching, organizing and officiating youth sports in the area, especially baseball, softball, basketball and volleyball. He volunteered as a coach from 1957-72 for the St. Boniface Mustangs. Additionally he coached numerous Little League and Pony League teams.
Over the next several decades, he volunteered thousands of hours organizing and administering officials for various league play in the community. Beginning in 1972, he supervised adult softball and basketball leagues for the Peoria Park District. He also scheduled officials/umpires for the area’s catholic grade schools as well as many basketball, baseball, and softball games for the Peoria Public Schools. In his over 30 years with the Peoria Park District, Mick trained, assigned, and supervised officials for adult softball games for leagues at Peoria Stadium and Sterling school. He organized a force of volunteer basketball officials for the Prairie State Games.
Even after his passing in 2011, his legacy in sports continued to have a positive impact for a charitable cause. As a tribute and acknowledgement of his decades of dedication to local softball leagues, a Mick Donahue Memorial Tournament was held in August of 2013, on the park district diamonds near Peoria Stadium. Many teams participated and many others, including umpires, volunteered their services. Proceeds from the successful event were donated to the PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation, a disease being fought by his granddaughter. Concurrent with the tournament, a park bench was dedicated near the large diamond near Peoria Stadium. The small plaque affixed to the bench, reads, “In Memory of Mick Donahue for his dedication to softball and the Peoria Park District.”