Steamboat Classic Race Director Honors Father

Published 06/14 2014 03:59PM

Updated 06/14 2014 07:09PM

PEORIA - Thousands of runners filled downtown Peoria Saturday for the 41st annual Steamboat Classic, Peoria's biggest running event.

But there's one person you don't normally see in the race, and that's director Philip Lockwood.

This year, that all changed.

"The last time I did the race was in 1982," Lockwood said. "After that, I decided I couldn't try and do both."

This year, however, he made an exception.

"Today, in honor of my dad, I'm going to walk the 4K," he said. "He passed away in early April. He had been a 35 year volunteer for Steamboat. it has been sort of tough the last few weeks."

To honor his father, Philip created "Ken's Crew". Friends and family teamed up to participate in the Classic, together, without the family's anchor.

Lockwood said," It does, especially on Father's Day. Yeah. So it's going to be tough, but we're going to be celebrating."

And when Philip and the rest of his family crossed the finish line, hand-in hand, he can't help but think about his father.

"There's the sadness of doing it without my dad," Lockwood said. "But having great support from my family, my Steamboat family, and friends has made this one more special."

Because it is family, Lockwood said, that keeps the Classic going.

"Part of our event, too, is really, it's our event and our organization," he said. "The whole sport and activity of running, really, is about family and community."

And Lockwood now knows, he has someone looking down on him, knowing that the race still goes on.

"I'm sure he's smiling."

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