Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jorge Torres Sets Sights on Moving Ahead

When Jorge Torres made his debut in the ING New York City Marathon last year, it should have been a joyful day for the newlywed. Seventh place in 2:13:00 was a fine first effort. But Torres’ heart instead was heavy: his high school coach had died in a car accident on the way home from Torres’ wedding in July, and his mother had been seriously injured.

Asked yesterday how the tragedy affected his race, Torres acknowledged, “Quite a bit. More than I thought.”

Torres, 30, also had to cope with the retirement of his identical twin and perennial training partner, Edwardo. Sometimes, it all seemed like too much, and he struggled to race. It took a push from his coach, former world record-holder Steve Jones, to get him motivated again.

“I realize that running itself actually helps you cope with things,” Torres says. “It helps you look at things in perspective and that’s one thing that kind of took me a while to realize: that running is enjoyable still and not a burden, because for a while there I thought running was distracting me from helping out my mom.”

With his mother recovered, Torres is once again on course, and hopes to build on everything he learned in last year’s race.

“I would definitely like to be aggressive,” Torres says. “Hopefully finish on the podium.”