Steve Harding

SteveHarding_Front_LawDay2006The basic concept of this column is to present local runners to you, the Newsletter readers. Each month, the subject of the Profile completes a form of personal information and I do the introduction. Simple format, at least until a guy like Pretty Boy (aka Steve Harding) comes along. After months (years?) of putting me off with “I’ll get to it” or “I’m still working on it”, he gives me his magnum opus.

What you see is the result of major editing; once Pretty Boy started, he really let it flow. As a result, my intro is short. I won’t tell you some of the inside stuff I got from his sister (like the time he lost a bet to her in junior high and had to wear a lime green fuzzy bonnet in the neighborhood). Trust me, I have more but will save it for later.

Read on to learn more about the recent winner of the first 13 miles of the Pier to Peak (which unfortunately was a 13.1 mile race).

Basic Information
Age: 30 (2002)

Personal Information – Basic
Nicknames: Peeve, Animal, Cal, Hollywood, Pretty Boy (SBAA) and others not suitable for publication.
Employment (Company, title, describe job if not obvious): Vanguard Credit, an automobile finance company. (Oddly enough, I don’t own a car and I haven’t been able to locate my driver’s license for about nine months.)
Family-who they are; what they do: Single. My mom, Juliet, lives in Wisconsin and works as a writer at an environmental college. My sister, Juliette, lives in Santa Barbara and works at an environmental law firm. My little brother, Rob, lives in Pennsylvania and teaches high school.
Other Sports/Interests/Hobbies: “Golf is the greatest game ever invented” – Cliff Carter. I also like to eat, dance by myself, sit and think interesting thoughts, and wander around Santa Barbara. It’s a great town for that.

Personal Information – Additional
My friends describe me as …: I would like to think my friends describe me as generous, energetic and very easily amused. They might think of other adjectives, too. The quality I’m probably most thankful for is my simplicity. I’m happy just being.
If money were not a consideration, …: I would give it all away and mow people’s lawns, take care of their animals, and do their dishes for charity. I would moonlight as an ice cream man.
Goals – In the next 5 years, …: I want to keep figuring myself out – it’s fun, challenging, and rewarding. Some people say it takes a lifetime.
In the next 10 years …: I want to marry a really cool woman (preferably a very understanding one) and have a bunch of hyper kids. Dibs on the dishes.

Running Highlights
Favorite Distance & PR at same: I used to really like the shorter stuff like the 5K (15:12) and 10K (31:39), but I’m starting to like the longer stuff, too (I think I have a 1:14 and change as a half marathon PR). But it doesn’t matter to me; I just love to compete.
Best Race and Why: My best races are probably the ones where I come back after taking time off and get whooped by somebody I shouldn’t. Then I get in shape.
Average Weekly Mileage (last 12 months): I’m not sure because I don’t keep a log, but I suspect between 35 and 50. I do a couple speed workouts a week, usually alone. I like to run frequently with civilians (non-competitive runners) rather than my competition because I find I run hard too often when I train with my competition. It’s also neat to run with civilians because they don’t talk about running so much.
Favorite Local Race: Vicki’s because it’s on the track. There’s something so beautiful about racing on the track. I also really like Nite Moves as a social event, Pier to Peak, the SB News Press Half, the Chardonnay, the Carp races, etc… Again, I just love racing.
Running Goals (Realistic) for this year: My general goal this year was to get back into good shape without burning out. Specifically, however, I’ve set out to win the Grand Prix and run well at the News Press Half. I’ve also got my first marathon in Seattle on Dec. 1st, and I would like to run somewhere between 2:45 and 3:00.
Running Goals – (Lifetime) Ð Before I die, I hope to …: In the short run (unintentional pun), I will try to get into the best running shape of my life. I figure if I run as well as I did in college (possible) and Aaron Gillen doesn’t get much faster (not likely), I’ve got a shot at bringing the punk down. Because, let’s face it, it would be a trip to be “The Fastest Dude in Santa Barbara” and Aaron, in my opinion, holds the title. In the long run (pun intended), I would like to just keep running and hopefully enjoy it as much as I do now. Running feels so good.

Additional Running Information
Why I Run: I feel most comfortable when in motion. It also helps me to think straight and sit still. There are about seven hundred and twelve other reasons.
My Local Runner Hero & Why: In general my running heroes are the cats who finish in the back of the pack. You know, the people who never get the awards and aren’t friends with the cool runners like Carl and Johnny-O. And there are so many of those people out there. Maybe that’s why running is such a cool sport; it has so many heroes.
Local Racing Hero & Why: Gregg Horner because he’s Gregg Horner.
Personal Training Tips: Train smart. Don’t time training runs, find some fun civilians to run with, toss the training log and just ballpark your miles, rest when your legs hurt, take time off, sleep a lot, eat like a horse.
Quote: “Your only true duty in life is to be yourself.” – My sister

Additional Thoughts: Nap and hug frequently. God gave us gas because it’s funny. Sometimes my feet smell and I wonder if it bothers people. Steve Prefontaine is the greatest runner there ever was and ever will be. Felines rule. Down East Maine is Heaven on Earth. I recommend loving people and places, not things.


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