David Torrence was a fine athlete, with PBs that were the envy of many. His versatility, from 800 meters (1:45.14), 1,500 meters (3:33.23), mile (3:52.01), 3000 meters (7:40.78), and 5000 meters (13;16.53) was impressive, but it was his personality and joy of living that affected his friends, family and fans.
I have been wanting to write something about David for the past week. So, here it goes.
Today we lost an amazing athlete and an even greater friend. He was coming to Long Island in a few days to once again, defend his title. David asked the rabbits to go through in 2:51 because he was going to go for ‘it’ straight from the gun. That was his attitude. The type of guy to be seen doing push-ups across the field an hour after running a 3:53 mile, but not before signing every autograph. We will honor his memory next week at the Long Island Mile. Heart is with his family. #RIPDT
David Torrence was a pretty good high school runner (Loyola HS, LA, CA), with bests of 2:01 for 800m, 4:35 for 1,600m and 10:01 for 3200m. His senior year, David took 3rd in CIF State mile, and ran 1:58 for 800m, 4:11 for 1,600m, and 9:05 for 3200m.
At Cal Berkeley, David Torrance set a school record for the mile, 3:58.62, running faster than America’s first sub four minute miler, Don Bowdon, who (from 1957).
Most of us watched David Torrence running gutty races at US championships, and on the European circuit. I had watched David run and win the Adrian Martinez mile, in 3:53.21, a Peruvian record for the mile. In June 2016, David had been allowed to run for the country of his family, Peru, and he made the 5000m final in Rio 2016.
David Torrence ran the Emsley Carr mile in Birmingham, one of the most iconic miles in our sport. Torrence took fourth in 3:56.10. I was there and watched David guttily run tough over the last 400 meters.
I could try to say something motivational, but would it really help? This is the hard knock sport of TRACK & FIELD. The sport that’s globally known as “Athletics” for a reason. Where the ACTUAL fittest people on Earth compete. When that gun goes off there are no timeouts, no teammates to hold you up, and no mercy for your mistakes. Just hard lines, hard numbers, and hard people. . But I’ve prepared for nothing less. Thousands of miles run, thousands of kilograms lifted, and thousands of painful hours endured. . And I wouldn’t trade it for anything else, because I love this damn sport. It’s race day, and it’s time to fly.
How does one encapsulate a life cut short at the age of 31 years? In my fifty-eight years, I have seen some great runners go before their time, and David Torrence should be included there. More importantly, he was a lovely young man, who left his friends better for their relationships with him.
David Torrence was loved by his friends, family and fans. His sponsor, HOKA ONE ONE president Wendy Yang, sent me a note on David Torrence. It said:
“The HOKA ONE ONE family is deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of one of our star athletes, David Torrence. David was an amazing man who showed tremendous strength and dedication in everything he did both personally and professionally. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
The best way to remember David Torrence? Remember how David Torrence lived: with honesty, and heart, and a searing kick over the last lap, and a few push ups after the race.