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Torbett wins men’s walk again

August 19, 2017
By Steve Hemmelgarn ( , News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG - Twice in a row.

That's what David Torbett, a professor at Marietta College, accomplished Saturday morning, taking home the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon men's race walk title on a mostly cloudy, but humid day.

Torbett, 52, covered the 13.1-mile course in 2:18.35, bettering his own winning time from last year of 2:22.42 by over four minutes.

Article Photos

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Half Marathon walker David Torbett celebrates while breaking the tape held by Half Marathon committee member Lou Molinaro.

Torbett began race walking the half in 2010, missing one year, "but last year was the first time I won it," he said.

After Torbett's wife Jill first tried race walking "and I thought I'd try it too, that was nine years ago," he related.

But in his initial try at race walking, Torbett came in at 39 minutes in a 5K. "Still though, I got an age group award, so then I tried other things - did more races, took some clinics, read some books - to try and improve."

Before race walking though, Torbett "tried running in my 20s, injured my knees and I couldn't do it. But then I found race walking doesn't injure my knees. It's kind of like the magic solution to exercising and not get injured I felt."

On the race itself Saturday, Torbett said that "the guy who came in second, Jason Mader, he got out way ahead and I passed him about just before the halfway point. And from then on, I was going against the clock, trying to just get a good time."

Ironically, Mader, who finished fifth behind Torbett last year and is from Williamstown, also works at Marietta College, where Torbett has been a professor of religion and history for 10 years.

"This is the first time my daughter Nora saw me finish," said Torbett. "She wanted to see me race one time and that's because in a few days, she going away, off to China for a year." He also has a son, Thomas, in college.



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