Photo by Abel Cruz.

Photo by Abel Cruz.

RAquel Torres

Was born on January 28, 1981, in La Vega, Dominican Republic. Her parents Hector Torres and Ana Medina had 4 children: Hector, Sofia, Raquel and Jorge, in that order.
They grew up in the city of La Vega, located in the Central Cibao region of Dominican Republic. In this small town, where there were only two bookstores, things were simple, life was quiet and safe. Raquel swam from the age of 3,  participating in children’s swimming events until about the age of 11.

Initially swimming was not her passion during her childhood years younger brother showed interest in biking and encouraged Rachel to join a local MTB club.  A few years later her swimming teacher, Manuel Jimenez, observing her agility and passion on the bike mentioned about a sport totally unknown to many called "Triatlon".

The 80s. Her childhood years. La Vega, DR.

With only 12 years, Raquel participated in triathlons in the Verde Valley Club located approximately 7 kilometers from home, on a hill with a slope of about 22% incline and 1.5 kilometers long.

The 90s. adolescence. La Vega, DR.

Later, thanks to her performance at national level and the support of another mentor Raul Cordero in running. Raquel had the opportunity to participate in international events, Central American and Pan American junior, reaching the podium in most of the races even with only sporadic training.

University years and career in banking in Dominican Republic.

In 1998 she graduated from Augustiniano High School and moved to the capital, Santo Domingo, to continue her undergraduate studies at the PUCMM and withdrawing completely from sports. She graduated in Business Administration at The PUCMM, and starts to work in the area of rivate banking. I did a post graduate degree in UNAPEC, while working in the bank industry, which demanded a lot of discipline because during that course, Raquel had her beloved daughter Chantal.

2009-2011 MBA, Michigan USA.

After nearly 7 years working in the area of banking, Raquel applies to one of her dreams, to study abroad, She earned a scholarship, which allowed her to pursue an MBA (Masters Business Administration) at the renowned Western Michigan University. 

Upon graduation Raquel manages to enter the area of anking in Michigan as bank executive for Fifth Third Bank, for reasons of family logistics, time and education of her daughter decided to give up not only the position but to her banking career, Raquel spend some time looking for something that would allow her to find family and professional balance.

Raquel coached (Running Coach) part of a program called "Girls on The Run," the purpose of the program in addition to prepare girls to complete a 5k race and combining the self-worth and to feel safe and to achieve goals. Parallel to this Raquel worked at Bronson Athletic Club as a swimming instructor and coach.

2012- Elite triathlon test.

In the summer of 2012 after such a long absence from sports, Raquel started running frequently in those days she got encouraged to do a triathlon (at age group level) and just to have fun and complete a triathlon. 
Purchased a inexpensive bicycle and two weeks later did the triathlon without training, with more than a decade without biking and with very little experience in this kind of competition.

She had some doubts as to how her body would react with the distances of swimming 1,500 meters. Biking 40 kms and 10 kms run.) She decided to accept the challenge and ended in the 2nd position overall. [Link 1. 1st triathlon] A few weeks later, she competed in the Triathlon Championship for Michigan and finished first overall. {Link 2. Championship Michigan]

Months after this her swimming teacher Manuel Jimenez invited her to join as an elite triathlete (RD) and try a local triathlon in Santo Domingo.

During the winter of 2012 in an activity of a local club "Trikats" to which she belonged, Raquel won a raffle of a VO2max test (measures the maximum amount of oxygen the body can absorb, transport and consume in a given time, aerobic capacity)

During the test Mark Olson attended, he is the head coach of Athletic Mentors, leaders in Michigan and surrounding areas of the United States in training and athletic performance, who is currently her coach. Mark said that the results were impressive for someone who is not trained, predicted a very good performance combined with training and appropriate circumstances.

Two months later Raquel started training with Mark Olson with a plan, the Dominican Federation of Triathlon proposed for her to try a triathlon at Elite level. Raquel participated in a Pan American Cup Triathlon (ITU-Elite) in Juan Dolio, DR, with just a few months of training and finished 12th overall and first among Dominicans. [Link 4. Juandolio}

Raquel then began to set goals (which seemed impossible) and sought to  classify for the Central American Games, Pan American Games and Olympic Games.
Raquel studied and learned the critical route and rules to classify for each stage, how the point system works and how ranking is attained.
She illustrated the system to the Dominican Triathlon Federation which is somewhat challenging in several respects, but not impossible.

From there with many experiences at the Level Elite International (ITU), Raquel had the opportunity to rub shoulders with the highest level International Triathlon Olympic level athletes, learning skills and training.

Learning and living experiences, Raquel continued to follow her passion. The triathlon and sports lifestyle as a career. With the intention always to use sport as a tool of inspiration.