FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The swimming and running communities in Northeast B.C. are in mourning after the passing of a longtime local swim coach and marathon runner over the weekend.
Steve Sadownik, a former head coach of the Inconnu Swim Club, died suddenly of natural causes on Saturday, aged 46. Sadownik was predeceased by his wife Nicole, who lost her battle with cancer on May 8, 2017, and leaves behind two children, Steven and Victoria.
Sadownik was involving in coaching swimmers for over 25 years, and Inconnu president Annette Lang explained he often went above and beyond when it came to working with the kids.
“He always expected more then he thought he could give.” Lang said, “He was such an amazing coach and such an amazing friend. The things that he did for Inconnu went above and beyond.”
She added that Sadownik would always put the children first, often sacrificing his own time to ensure the kids had better chances to succeed.
Sadownik got into competitive running when the North Peace Leisure Pool closed in 2010, quickly becoming a large part of the running community. He competed in multiple regional races including The Emperor’s Challenge in Tumbler Ridge, as well as the Canadian Death Race in Grand Cache.
In September 2015 Sadownik competed in the 160-kilometre Lost Soul Ultra Marathon in Lethbridge. Sadownik finished with a time of 20 hours, 13 minutes, and 30 seconds, setting a record that stands to this day.
Sadownik’s running group has organized a 24-hour run to honour him at the Fish Creek Community Forest this Saturday. Running partner Joshua Slykhuis explained the idea came to fruition because the group always joked about how Fish Creek would be the worst place for a 24-hour run since they’d all run it together countless times.
“There were a few of us talking about it, saying how should we honour Steve?” said Slykhuis, “That’s when we came up with this. We remembered when he said that would be the worst thing to do, a 24-hour race there. So we thought that’s what we should do.”
The entire Inconnu Swim Club is expected to participate in the run wearing their signature green shirts in his honour.
The event starts at 11:45 p.m. Saturday with a moment of silence before runners tackle the forest trails for 24 hours, ending with another moment of silence right before midnight Sunday. The event is by donation with the proceeds going to the Sadownik family.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up in their memory with proceeds going to the family. The link to the GoFundMe can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/victoria-and-steven