Elite triathlete and former national mountain bike champion Steve Larsen died of a sudden heart attack while running at Cascade Middle School on Tuesday night.
Larsen, who was 39 and lived in Bend, was with a group of about 40 people who regularly run together when he collapsed. Other runners performed CPR on him and called 911. Paramedics arrived and transported Larsen to St. Charles Bend.
Deschutes County Medical Examiner Dr. Steve Cross said an autopsy was performed this morning and found no obvious signs of coronary heart disease. Larsen's heart will be sent to a laboratory in the mid-West where it will be analyzed for disease, Cross said.
Larsen enjoyed success as a professional athlete in multiple sports.
In the early 1990s, he raced on the Motorola road cycling team with Lance Armstrong.
He switched to mountain biking in 1994, winning the NORBA National Cross Country Mountain Bike Champion title in 1998 and 2000, and narrowly missing a chance to represent the United States at the Sydney Olympics.
He then turned to triathlon, scoring top-ten finishes in national and international competitions.
Larsen retired from professional racing in late 2003 and started working in real estate, first with Lowes Commercial Properties in Bend and then with his own company, Steve Larsen Properties.
He ran the Ironman World Championships triathlon in Hawaii in October and finished sixth in the Lowe’s XTERRA West Cup at Lake Las Vegas on May 2.
Larsen is survived by his wife, Carrie, and five children.
- Bulletin Staff Report