Thu - November 29, 2007

Running, Kayaking, and Heart Surgery

Running, Kayaking and Heart Surgery
Running, Kayaking and Heart Surgery
I've found a good story in St Petersburg Times written by Dan Dewitt: 'Inner monster' ran his life.

It is about Stephen Foster who was an obsessive, successful endurance runner and kayaker. As a two-time state flatwater kayaking champion, Foster used to kayak all the time. He ran even more, once finishing the 15K Gasparilla Distance Classic in just over 55 minutes, a pace of under 6 minutes per mile.

Like many athletes, he felt invincible. But his heart told him otherwise. Two years ago, at 51, he narrowly averted a stroke and had open heart surgery to fix a defective heart valve.

Stephen Foster wrote a book under the pen name of Stephen McQueen: On the Precipice: A Story of Running, Kayaking and Heart Surgery. The book is available from

On the Precipice is Stephen McQueen’s chronicle of a twenty-year period in his life beginning shortly after his return from two years of graduate studies in Mississippi in 1985. He becomes heavily involved in running and kayaking competition after he returns to his home in Florida, competes in kayak races sanctioned by the Florida Competition Paddlers Association, and wins the 1988 State Downriver Kayak Championship, and the 1991 and 1992 State Olympic Flatwater Kayak Championships. He also races in many local road races, such as the Flatlander Challenge 10k, the Gasparilla Distance Classic 15k, and the Strawberry Festival Classic 10k. But shortly after he reaches the height of his success in competitive running and kayak racing, he falls victim to health problems that ultimately lead to heart valve disease. This is his story of how he rises from the ashes.

Posted at 09:15 AM    

Mountain Wayfarer | fit2paddle - fitness paddling | Wayfarer blog | virtual race | paddling with a camera