King of the Mountain Competes for Life

  • Bottom, Steve with sons David and Jacob.

    Bottom, Steve with sons David and Jacob.

NEWS UPDATE: Steve Catena, whose story we published in the May 22, 2009 issue (below) has notified us that he logged the fastest time of over 300 competitors in the The Planet Ultra Heartbreak Hundred race on Saturay, May 23. He reports that his 5 hours, 11 minutes is a course record for the one hundred mile jaunt with 8,000′ in elevation gain. Congratulations Steve! —Patric Hedlund, Editor

There were days when he was recovering from cancer that Steve Catena had to take a nap after walking around the block. This weekend, the 46-year-old father of four will be racing a 100-mile loop through these mountains, knowing his race is to celebrate the gift of life. He’s a serious competitor.

“One step led to another, then the next thing you know you’re doing incredible things that you didn’t think you could do,” he said.

In 2006, Catena finished first in the Los Angeles Triathlon, and second in the Hermosa Beach Triathlon.

In The Planet Ultra Heartbreak Hundred this weekend he will be fighting to be named “King of the Mountain.” His competitive spirit has helped him raise $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“It’s sobering when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office and you’re the only one without an amputation,” he said.

Catena knows what a little help can mean. His greatest supporters are his wife, family, doctors and friends.

He also relies on sponsors to help him race. For the Heartbreak Hundred the Best Rest Inn in Lebec is giving Catena a free night’s stay. Other sponsors who support him include Shimano, Profile, Giant, Clif Bar, CytoSport, Zipp, Speedplay, Planet Bike, Bike Mine, Western Bike Works, Zero Gravity, Cateye, Bike Palace in San Pedro, Peninsula Cycle Club, Excel Sports and Dr. Krause Chiropractic.

Catena said completing a race is a great feeling. “The times you reach and push beyond your limits – it’s magical,” he said. “You find courage and strength that you don’t know you had.”

This is part of the May 22, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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