Steamboat Classic Celebrates 50 Years

June 18, 2024

/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – On June 15th, the Steamboat Classic, in Peoria, IL celebrated 50 years of the event with participant numbers coming close to hitting pre-pandemic totals. Featuring a 4 Mile Run and 15K Run, the event started in 1974 by Steve Shostrom, former owner of Running Central, and founder of the Illinois Valley Striders.  Steamboat features scenic routes through historic neighborhoods and finishes by the Illinois River.

3 years after the event started, Philip Lockwood, was the first customer at Running Central.  20 years after Shostrom started the Steamboat Classic, Lockwood took over as acting race director.  This year, Lockwood celebrated his 30th year at the annual event and passed the race director torch to Adam White, the owner of RC Outfitters (formerly Running Central) and co-owner of ShaZam Racing.

The Steamboat Classic grew in the 80s and 90s to include some of the fastest times ever ran for 4 miles.  Over its 50 years, the 4 mile has seen 42 different national records and the world record broken 7 times, with the last time being the still-standing world records for both men and women over the distance.  Josphat Machuka of Kenya ran 17:24 and Delilah Asiago of Kenya ran 19:28 in 1995.  But Steamboat is more than an international race.  It grew to become the kick-off to summer in the river city.  One athlete, Bev Enslow, from Germantown Hills has participated in every single Steamboat.  Having run both the 4 mile and 15k over the years, she has won 6 Steamboat titles.

Located in Peoria, IL, ShaZam Racing has been timing the Steamboat Classic since 2015 and now also manages and produces the event with the many dedicated volunteers that still show their support every year.  ShaZam Racing owners, White and Brad Henz, look forward to continuing the legacy that was put forth in Peoria, IL in 1974.