More Steve and Napa – From 2004

One of you just had to ask for more info about Steve and Napa. So here goes.

When he crossed the finish line last year they brought out a bunch of gifts and did a bit of recognition. This year his entry fee was comped and they gave him free week-end lodging. I’m not sure if it was where the elite runners were staying. I think it is under the trestle with a pile of old newspaper clippings.

Last year there were several news articals that mentioned Steve. I didn’t find the Runners’ World artical on Steve. It was good, in the back; the local news section. Maybe you can ask Steve for a copy; he bought 5,000 copies of that issue.

Here is more from last year. Hope the links work, a couple others didn’t-

From the SF Chronicle

From the Napa News

And from the Argus by Email –

> Subject: For Fremont runner, never say quit
> Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 08:12:19 -0700

For Fremont runner, never say ‘quit’
What started as a scheme to work out has resulted, thus far, in 102 marathons

By Scott Wong , STAFF WRITER

Tuesday, February 25, 2003 – FREMONT — For Steve Radigan, running long distances is no joy ride. “I’ve heard about runner’s high and I don’t believe any of it,” said the 51-year-old Fremont resident. “Running has got to be one of the most boring, monotonous things to do — there’s no way around it.” But Radigan logs more than 1,600 miles a year on his own two feet. On Sunday, Radigan will run in the 25th annual Napa Valley Marathon — his 103rd 26.2-mile race — which starts in Calistoga, winds through the wine country on a two-lane road along the Silverado Trail and finishes at Vintage High School in Napa. He’s raced every one since its inception in 1979.

Last year, Radigan clocked in with three hours and 19 minutes, finishing in sixth place in the 50- to 54-year-old division. Overall, he finished 130th out of 1,713 runners. But his personal best is etched in his memory, 31 minutes faster — 2:48:05 — in the same marathon in 1991. The race attracts mostly runners from across California, but there also are participants from a dozen states, including New York and Florida, as well as competitors from Canada and Germany. As with other races, the Napa Valley Marathon has provided an arena in which Radigan can compete, giving purpose to the tedious activity. “(Racing) made me want to go out and train and forced me to go out and train,” he said. “It turned out to be the carrot and a stick for me.” Finding athletic niche

In high school and college, Radigan wasn’t much of an athlete. “I was falling into a rut. I felt like I needed to do something,” he said. “Other things involved getting organized or driving to someplace. It seemed like a lot of hassle for a little bit of exercise.” But when he started working in Mountain View, he found a lunch-hour run was a convenient way to exercise and manage his weight. “Running killed my appetite,” Radigan said. “It helped bring my weight down.”

Today, while co-workers from Matrix Semiconductor are sitting down to sandwiches and sodas, the senior technical staff member is setting out on a nearly nine-mile course. Radigan runs five to six days a week and tries to complete a 4.4-mile loop twice during his lunch hour. Hooked on running He first competed in a 10K race in March 1978, and he’s been hooked ever since. His 102 races include some of the country’s largest and best marathons — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Big Sur and Boston, the nation’s oldest marathon, going back more than 100 years. But Boston is just part of the colorful history of this cross-country test of endurance. At the 1908 Olympics Games in London, the marathon distance was changed from 24 to 26 miles — the distance from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium — with 385 yards tacked on, placing the finish line directly in front of King Edward VII’s royal viewing box.

The marathon traces it roots back to the 5th century, when the Greek foot soldier Pheidippides ran 24 miles from the city of Marathon to Athens, bringing news of victory over the Persians. The soldier collapsed and died after exclaiming, “Niki!” meaning “Victory.” Radigan, too, has had his share of victories, capturing first place in the Master’s 40 and older division at the Palos Verdes Marathon in 1993, which attracted more than 3,000 runners. But as age creeps in, Radigan said it’s discouraging to know his times are not improving. Still, any thoughts of giving up the sport are distant in his mind. “I’m going to keep going as long as I can,” said the father of two. “If I quit, it will be too difficult to start back up again.”

Staff writer Scott Wong can be reached at (510) 353-7002 or by e-mail at

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