Birthday: June 2nd, 1959
Current Residence: Las Vegas, NV
Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL
College: Animal Health Technology; Pierce College
10 km - 45:04
20 km - 1:35:39
Victoria “Tori” Herazo and her 21 National titles are as much a product of her hard work and determination as of her coach, Jim Bentley. Bentley was there from the beginning. While out running in late 1987, Herazo noticed him coaching age-group athletes and thought she would like to help. Bentley quickly converted Herazo to race walking and the two formed a very successful bond.
Herazo mastered the technique of race walking quickly. She qualified for the 1988 L.A. Times 1-mile walk, finishing 5th. She was hooked. Bentley laid out his philosophy: Work on technique, break records, and win national titles. Herazo was a quick study. She continued to improve and qualified for the USATF Indoor Nationals. Not finishing top-three didn’t bother the upstart; there were many many more races to come.
In 1991, Herazo went on the world tour. She returned to Swedish Walk Week, but it was no longer her final destination. Instead she traveled to Seville, Spain, for the World Indoor Championship. The many walkers on the small track required heats. Finishing 6th in her heat, Herazo was confused by the finals qualifying requirements. It wasn’t until later that evening that she was informed she had another race to walk. After a rough first race, Herazo wasn’t sure what was left for the final event. But with a gutsy effort and a few disqualifications in front of her, she finished 9th in the world.
Herazo continued to showcase her talent on the world stage, finishing 28th in the Outdoor World Championships later in the year. She remembers that she and teammate Debbie Lawrence were seeded far back in the pack. Not understanding why, Coach Bentley jokingly suggested it must have been their height. Lawrence and Herazo were amongst the tallest in the field.
Herazo, however, did not remain in the back of the pack for long. The following year, she started off strong and finished 3rd in a tough battle with the Mexicans at the Pan Am Cup. The race remains one of the greatest highlights of her career. Walking at altitude in a Mexican-friendly environment, Herazo snuck between the favored trio of Mexicans to capture the bronze medal.
Coach Bentley convinced Herazo that she had Olympic potential. The two moved to Las Vegas to train in the heat and acclimate to conditions Herazo would face and the Olympic Trials and Games. The move paid off as Herazo became one of three women to walk in the inaugural women’s race walk at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The games were “such a thrill”, because unlike her teammates Herazo was not an elite runner throughout college. She had never dreamed of being an Olympian. With a tough uphill climb for the last two kilometers, Herazo battled the heat, hills, and competitors to finish 28 th.
The following Olympics were not as successful; unfortunately Herazo was disqualified late in the race. Not feeling “right” at the starting line, she never got in her grove.
1998 4th - 48:29 1997 2nd - 45:47 1996 3rd - 45:02 1995 4th - 45:53 1994 6th - 47:41 1992 2nd - 45:14 1991 3rd - 46:27 1990 5th - 46:50 1989 6th - 49:48 1988 6th - 49:16
2001 5K - 24:47 2000 5K - 25:02 1 Hour - 11,728m 1997 15K 1:15:51 20K - 1:43:14 1996 1 Hour - 12,215m 20K - 1:40:32 1995 5K - 22:48 1 Hour - 12,326m 15K - 1:12:39 20K - 1:35:40 1994 1 Hour - 12,440m 15K - 1:11:40 1993 5K - 22:55 1992 5K - 22:39 1991 5K - 22:43 1 Hour - 12,771m 15K - 1:11:13 1991 1 Hour - 12,346m 1989 5K - 25:18 15K - 1:16:30
10K Olympic Games
1996 – DQ – Atlanta, USA
1992 - 28 th - 48:26 – Barcelona, Spain
10K World Championships
1997 - DQ - Athens, Greece
1991 - 27 th - 47:10 – Tokyo, Japan
10K World Cup
1997 - 50 th - 46:31 – Podebrady, Czechoslovakia
1995 - 41 st - 46:25 – Beijing, China
10K Pan Am Games
1992 -3 rd - 47:42 - Guatemala City, Guatemala
10K Pan Am Cup
1998 - 11 th - 1:48:02 – Miami, USA
1996 - DQ, - Manaus, Brazil
1992 - 8 th - 47:48 – Atlanta, USA