In this Issue:
- Remembering Steve
- Upcoming Events
May 2 2020 Black Flies Track and Field Meet, May 24
- Running Room Run Club Update:
- Track North
Frank Matusch, age 52, passed away peacefully
Thursday evening, March 11, 2020 in Sudbury, Ontario.
Born November 18, 1967, Steve graduated with a Bachelor
of Applied Science in Systems Design Engineering from
the University of Waterloo in 1991, and an MBA from
Wilfred Laurier University in 1992. While attending
the University of Waterloo, Steve met his best friend
and future wife, Christina. Upon graduation, Steve
began his career at Linamar and quickly moved up the
ranks. Steve and Christina moved back to his hometown
of Sudbury in 1995. Within two years, he started Vismat
Systems, which quickly led to Ionic Engineering, and
the Ionic Technology Group, which employs more than
120 people in Sudbury, Cambridge, and Chile. There
were many sleepless nights, but also many fun and
interesting projects. Steve’s passion and creativity
were key to the companies’ success. Steve was
very intelligent, enthusiastic, and energetic. He
was passionate about science and technology and had
a lifelong love for learning. He was an early adopter
of technology, and he could often be found in his
garage building a wide variety of contraptions. Steve
was an adrenaline junkie who thrived on downhill skiing,
whitewater kayaking, hang gliding, skydiving, flying
planes, motorcycles, long-distance bike trips, marathons,
and triathlons (including an Ironman in 2004).
Steve founded the Sudbury Rocks! Marathon in 2005,
and worked tirelessly with others to turn it into
the successful community event that it is today. He
was an entrepreneur, an athlete, and a traveler, but
above all, he was a loving husband and father. Steve’s
greatest joy was his children. He actively supported
their many passions, including science fair, dance,
and music. He spent hours and hours going for walks
and pondering the universe with Brendon; he relished
the moments he spent with “his sunshine”,
Annika. His greatest regret was that he wouldn’t
see his children grow into adulthood. Steve developed
primary sclerosing cholangitis, which led to a rare
and aggressive form of liver cancer in 2018. Thanks
to the wonderful team at UHN in Toronto, and his awesome
brother-in-law and donor, Monty Gillard, Steve was
fortunate to receive a liver transplant in September
2019. Sadly, the cancer returned in late 2019 and
spread quickly. Steve’s life was much shorter
than we would have liked, but he lived it fully.
Steve was the beloved
husband and best friend of Christina Visser; adored
father of Brendon and Annika Matusch; devoted son
of Peter and Rena Matusch; cherished brother of Tammy
Gillard (Monty), and Ryan Matusch (Christine Adornato).
He will be fondly remembered by Christina's parents
Tony and Erma Visser, and her siblings Pat Visser
(Suzanne Zehr), Cindy Visser, and Linda Visser (Jerome
Bishop). He was also the goofy uncle of Alex, Andrew,
Piper, Petra, Sam, Crosby and Felicity. Steve will
be sadly missed by many wonderful friends, relatives,
and cherished colleagues. Due to COVID-19, a Celebration
of Life will be held at a later date. Donations to
the Northern Cancer Foundation and the Health Sciences
North MRI Campaign would be appreciated. Arrangements
entrusted to the Jackson and Barnard Funeral Home.
A note from
Many of you
have heard about Steve's passing on Wednesday
night, but I feel some explanation might be
appreciated by our many friends, extended
family and colleagues.
As you know,
Steve had his liver transplant in Toronto
in September. He recovered amazingly well
and in November we were dancing in the streets.
We took the kids to New York City for the
weekend, and resumed making long-term plans.
We were so happy.
Steve fell down icy stairs and fractured two
vertebrae. His back pain early this year had
been attributed to his fall, but we found
out in mid February that he had a tumour pressing
on his spine and that the cancer had spread
to his liver. His situation deteriorated quickly,
and he was moved to palliative care at HSN.
He was glad, as are we, that he didn't suffer
too much for too long.
The kids and
I are doing OK, but we're sad. We keep wanting
to tell Steve things and then remember that
we can't. He was deeply loved and we will
miss him forever. We are grateful for the
kind words and support that we have already
received, and ask forgiveness for any delayed
replies. We are spending time together and
Due to concerns
related to COVID-19, we are delaying a celebration
of life until a later date.
all this, we are so grateful for our wonderful
family, friends and colleagues. Thank you.
Respected and well-known
throughout the Northern Ontario mining service and
supply industry, Matusch founded Ionic Engineering
Ltd. in 2000 with the goal of offering the best innovative
solutions to problems faced by industry.
manager, André Dumais, said five years ago,
Matusch developed primary sclerosing cholangitis,
which led to a rare and aggressive form of liver cancer
In an effort to combat
the illness, Matusch had undergone a live liver transplant,
an experimental surgery, in November.
But around Christmastime,
indications showed that the cancer had returned, and
Matusch had been in hospital the last two weeks before
On the surface, Dumais
said, his long-time friend and mentor was extremely
intelligent, a “tech geek” who loved technology
and all its applications.
the person everybody knew that he was: a good businessman
with a really good technical capability and strong
technical sense,” Dumais said.
But at his core, Dumais
noted, Matusch was a dedicated family man, who was
extremely proud of his children. He expressed hope
that he would leave behind a legacy they would be
proud to emulate. “One of the final things he
told me in his last couple of weeks was that he wanted
his kids to know that he was a good guy,” Dumais
said. “That was really important to him.”
was also extremely generous and felt a strong pull
to give back to the community.
An avid runner
who annually competed in marathons, Matusch was also
the founding race director, along with Vince Perdue,
of Sudbury ROCKS!, a local running club formed in
1998 for enthusiasts.
spring, the club hosts the Sudbury ROCKs! Marathon,
with all proceeds going to the Northern Cancer Foundation
and Ionic Mechatronics became the presenting sponsor
of the Run in 2014. He also became the main sponsor
of the Sudbury Fitness Challenge Mountain Bike Tour
and assisted the Sudbury Masters Ramsey Tour. Matusch
also recently made a donation of $100,000 to the Sudbury
Food Bank, which was his charity of choice.
was a big believer that people in this country shouldn’t
go without,” Dumais said. “He would sometimes
get emotional talking about it – that’s
how important that particular issue was to him.”
Steve supported all of the above
and much more
I had the pleasure
of first meeting Steve a year ago when I first
started running with the Sudbury Rocks Running
Club. Steve was very welcoming & brought
a positive energy to our group runs. I did
not know Steve very well, but I knew he had
a kind heart. Steve proudly & generously
donated to a few charities I was fundraising
for. It was clear that Steve cared a lot about
his friends, family, & co workers. Steve
was very proud of his children. Recently,
we discussed his son's accomplishments in
piano & Steve provided me with his wisdom
on engaging children in music at an early
age (he knew I have been encouraging the boys
to play piano, especially after I purchased
a keyboard that has just been collecting dust
since the Summer). He said "music is
all about having fun!"
I also knew Steve had a great appreciation
for health care professionals. He called us
"unusual people". Hahaha. But what
Steve meant was, he appreciated that doctors
& Nurses could see the worst situations
& still be able to smile. That comforted
him during his time in hospital.
Steve was a great inspiration! As soon as
his physician gave him the okay to resume
some low impact activity, Steve was out walking
some of the routes he ran for years. I remember
the first time I saw Steve out walking after
his surgery, I was fading out during my run
& after seeing Steve out walking so soon
after his surgery, it gave me a tremendous
boost! I was so proud of him & he looked
so grateful to be out walking his usual route.
My sincere condolences go out to Steve's wife
Christina, his children, his family, friends
& co workers.
Our running community & community as a
whole are at a great loss. Ashley Hayes
The world is
now missing this amazing father, awesome athlete,
community leader, successful entrepreneur,
Tesla enthusiast, kind hearted soul and many
many other great qualities that Steve possessed!
I didn't know Steve very well but the little
interactions I had with him were full of kindness,
wisdom, knowledge sharing and straight talk.
I am grateful I had the opportunity to walk
around the lake with him once, even 'walking'
I couldn't keep up! Sorry for your loss Christina
Visser and family. Neha Singh
was the visionary behind SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon
from the very beginning and it was with his
leadership that we became what we are today.
Steve was also my very best running friend.
I followed him through woes of failed runs
( in his eyes) to his greatest accomplishment
in the completion of the Canadian Ironman
Triathlon. Then on to a very fast Toronto
Marathon in the same year which lead to the
Boston Marathon in 2005.
became fast friends organizing the SudburyROCKS!!!
race. The stress laden situations confronting
us over the years oddly strengthened our bond
together. It didn't hurt that both of us held
a passion for automobiles and audio video.
I give high marks to Steve for his patience
in allowing our relationship to develop. His
enthusiasm and passion for our running community
will be greatly missed.This
year especially, we'll be running for you,
Steve. Vince Perdue
Inside Steve - a video below
Steve Matusch Experiences
Subaru IronMan Canada 2004
by Steve Matusch
After six months
of obsessing over electrolyte powders, nutrition
plans, sports gels, aero equipment and way
too many 5AM workouts, it’s all over.
As I’m sure Sheila and Jan will agree,
training for your first Ironman Triathlon
is something you have to experience to understand
– it’s a really big deal. When
you’re getting close to the race date,
it becomes an obsession – almost like
you’ve joined a cult.
When I finally
got on the plane to BC, I had an incredible
sense of anticipation and dread. I was convinced
that I was a sham – that I didn’t
train enough, that I wasn’t prepared
for it, and that I’d be best off to
get off the plane and go home with my tail
between my legs. Oblivious to my anxiety,
the plane took-off anyway and there was no
I got up at 3:30 AM for breakfast and to make
final gear preparations before heading down
to the course for the 5AM sign-in. At 6:45,
when I finally paraded down to the beach with
the rest of the Iron wannabees, I knew that
I was at the start of one of the most exciting
and memorable days of my life – something
special that I’d never, ever forget.
For me, the swim
and bike sections went wonderfully –
just like it was a scripted play. I now know
what it feels like to be in a school of herring.
I swam the entire 3.8kms with swimmers literally
inches in front, behind and to either side
of me. Navigating was never really an issue
– it was impossible to go off course
and downright hazardous to slow down. And,
other than narrowly avoiding being part of
a bike crash, the 180km cycling leg went perfectly.
Okay, I got passed a lot, but I consoled myself
that it gave me a bit more time to enjoy the
spectacular scenery. There were an incredible
number of cheering volunteers and spectators
egging us on – which really helped as
my legs were screaming near the top of Richter’s
pass. Imagine Long Lake hill, but 8kms long.
After a combined 184
km of swimming and cycling I ran out of the bike-to-run
transition at 7 hours and 38 minutes – just
seconds behind my target time. I was feeling fantastic
- thrilled to say the least. That’s when I made
one of the worst mistakes a newbie Ironman racer can
make - I got greedy. You see, before the race I had
set myself three secret (four really) targets –
which I called my gold, silver and bronze medals.
The bronze medal was to finish the race; the silver
was to finish under 12 hours; the gold was to beat
Mike Coughlin (my coach)'s time from the same race
last year (11:14:30). I also had a fantasy “platinum”
medal which would have been to finish under 11 hours
- but I didn’t expect to have a realistic shot
So, as I was coming out
of T2 with 7:38 on the clock, my muddled brain got
greedy. I decided that I could run a personal best
3:30 marathon to finish around 11:10, beating out
Mike for the gold. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid,
STUPID – Mike had specifically warned against
doing EXACTLY this – although I was always a
bit suspicious of his motives. So, against all of
his repeated advice, I threw out my thoughtfully prepared
race plan, disregarded my heart rate targets and started
running 8 minute miles. For the first 10 miles it
was great - passing racers by the boatload, getting
cheered on by spectators as I blew past the walking
and stumbling masses, and pitying the odd dejected
soul vomiting on the roadside. Then, as I climbed
a small hill out of town, it all went to hell (yes
Vince, I blew up on a marathon again). Inside of 30
seconds my digestive system went south and I too was
standing in the ditch dry-heaving and dizzy. The next
11 miles were a blur - a mix of walking, slow jogging
and bouts of nausea, all the while cursing myself
for having ever having decided to attempt this. But
at least here I had lots of sympathetic company -
the road was littered by racers in the same condition
or worse. Very few people were truly running any more.
As I stumbled along I
kept watching my goals evaporate. Under 11:00 hours?
Nope - not without a cab ride. Beat Mike C's time?
Forget about it. Then as the clocked ticked toward
11:15, still 5 miles out, I knew that I had a choice
- to run solid 9 minute miles all the way in or finish
over 12:00 hours. Against the wishes of every inch
of my intestines, I decided that I could deal with
45 minutes of misery better than with several years
of feeling like I gave up on it. So off I ran, cursing
every step but at least feeling better that I was
passing people again. By the final turnaround, a half
mile from the finish, I still felt awful. But the
huge cheering crowds gave me the energy to pass three
more runners over the final 100 meters and to drag
my sorry butt across the finish line with raised arms.
My final time was 11 hours and 57 minutes… for
my first Ironman triathlon! I haven’t seen the
pictures yet, but I think I was smiling… and
if not on the outside – then at least on the
After you cross the line,
the medical staff triages the racers into two streams
– into the transition area for pizza and beer
or into the med tent. When the nurse asked me how
I felt, I opened my mouth, gurgled a bit and stumbled
sideways; so pizza and beer was not on the books just
yet. In the med tent I remember being told to sit
on a chair for an IV next to a lineup of other pathetic
looking specimens who were already plugged in. Instead
I tried to lie on the ground - and the nurse politely
told me that I couldn't - I absolutely had to sit
on the chair. So I stood up, mumbled something about
feeling better and stumbled out the back door of the
tent to lie on the ground. I think I actually fell
asleep for a bit. Some while later, the nurse came
back to check on me and found me shivering under my
shiny foil sheet. She kindly helped me hobble over
and into to one of the waiting hot tubs where I was
handed a cup of the best chicken soup that I've ever
tasted and had a great opportunity to tell horror
stories and swap lies with my fellow athletes. As
physically drained, sore and as repulsively stinky
as we were, we were all grinning – because we
had just completed the Ironman!
I want to say thank-you,
thank-you, thank-you to a few people who helped in
me in this undertaking. Firstly to my coach Mike Coughlin,
who provided me with a ton of information, advice,
motivation and inspiration – best of luck at
Ironman Wisconsin Mike! Second and most importantly
to my very supportive wife Christina and my son Brendon
who had to put up with me (and a lot of neglected
yardwork) over these last six months. I publicly promise
not to do this again! At least for a few years anyway!
Note: Steve plans on running the Ramsey Tour 1/2 marathon
this weekend and then do the Toronto marathon in October
in an attempt to qualify for next years Boston marathon.
So much for promises....and the best of luck to you.
Steve at Toronto Marathon
Coach Mike and Coach Vince!!! 2004 Toronto marathon
going to keep this short, because I’ve been
told that success stories are far less fun to read
than crash and burn stories, even if they’re
more fun to write.
the Toronto Marathon yesterday, and after two prior
marathon “blow-ups” I finally, finally,
finally had a good one!!! Yeeee-haaahh!
goal for this race was to qualify for Boston –
which requires a 3:15 finish in my age group. So,
I set out pacing 4:30/k which would bring me across
the line in 3:10. The first 21k went great –
except for some nasty wind, cold and rain –
blech. It was little tough to keep the pace down,
so I ended up crossing halfway at about 1:33 –
about two minutes hot. I still felt fantastic at that
point but I knew from prior very painful experience
that your state at the halfway point of a marathon
means absolutely nothing – THE WALL comes quickly,
without mercy and without warning.
that risk getting beaten over the head with running
shoes by both Vince and Mike C, I deliberately took
the pace down to about 4:40 despite the slow downhill
grade. I was absolutely a bundle of nerves for this
section of the course; I kept waiting for the nausea
and the shooting pain in my legs which would signal
my arrival at “THE WALL”. At 37k, and
2:47 (just as I was starting to get excited) I felt
the start of some cramping in my right calf –
not bad, but enough to worry me a bit. Knowing that
only a major crash could prevent me from going under
3:15 at this point, I decided to be really conservative
and back off a bit further – to around 5 minutes
three hours and 13 minutes of running in the cold,
rain and wind, I crossed the line!!!!!! I made it!!!!!
Steve in Boston
Boston 2005 3:21:40
Steve Matusch's Boston Report:
got back from Boston. After two weeks of imagining
my name on the Rocks site with those dreaded three
capital letters (DNF) beside my name (due to a minor
but recurring calf tear), I’m relieved to report
that I had a really good race! Great experience!!!
was exactly how I like it – about 20 degrees,
sunny and not much wind; I don’t think you could
have asked for a better April day. Of course the event
was huge - we were buzzed by a pair of F-16s and our
race starter was none other than prior US presidential
candidate John Kerry. I briefly considered inviting
him up to Sudbury to kick-off the Sun Run for us (and
the F-16s would have been a nice touch too), but I
did have Canadian leaf on my shirt and figured that
they just might not see the humor in my asking.
of my calf, I ran very cautiously and I had reconciled
myself with the possibility of walking the last half
of the course. I ran on the left hand side of the
road, ran completely flat-foot, did little relaxation
exercises and anything else I could do to favor my
right leg. And I’m not sure if I should admit
to this, but I discovered a little secret to running
marathons in your 30’s and later. I ran with
a fully stocked pharmacy in my fuel belt. I had anti-inflammatories,
painkillers, salt tablets and caffeine tablets. Good
thing we recreational runners don’t get anti-doping
it paid off because it went really well. I just had
a really, really enjoyable run – chatted with
other runners and waved at the cheering spectators.
There were some rumors that Matt Damon was racing
(he wasn’t) and some of the girls on the side
of the course were holding signs pleading for him
to “stop for a kiss”. I didn’t know
it at the time, but apparently I was running a few
hundred meters behind fellow Rock Bernd Wittke for
almost the entire race. Over the last 10K I closed
the gap from 2 minutes, down to 23 seconds at the
line. But no cigar - Bernd gets his revenge for my
close win over him in Toronto! Well done Bernd!
before the finish was, of course a total zoo. Everybody
was cheering and high-fiving the racers – it
really gave me energy for the last mile. Christina
accompanied me to Boston to see me run and of course
she couldn’t get anywhere near the finish line.
But she was a real trooper and consoled herself by
going shopping at Filenes Basement.
for all your advice Vince (and for listening to me
whine and cry about my leg), and great big thanks
(and a big recommendation) to Kim at Active Therapy.
Memories of Steve - a Photo
Upcoming Local Events
University XC and Indoor Track Team will be hosting
the 2020 Black Flies Track and Field Meet at the
Laurentian Community Track. The meet will run
from approximately 10am to 4pm. The meet will
be open to all athletes in Grades 7 and 8, High
School, University and Open.
Good afternoon Sudbury Runners and Walkers,
We have FREE run club
Wednesday nights at 6pm and Sunday mornings at 8:30am.
North News - by Dick
Dick Moss, Head Coach
Laurentian XC/Track Team
c/o Coach Moss <email@example.com>
information call me.
sponsor of the Sudbury Rocks!!! Race-Run-Walk for the Health of it
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