World-class M45 runner Castillo dies in accident

Sad word has arrived that M45 middle-distance star Roberto Castillo of Miami died Oct. 23 — he was killed by a motorist. He was buried Tuesday, and the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported his passing. In 1998, Roberto won the M40 golds at 800 and 1500 at the Maine masters nationals in 2:00.67 and 4:07.02. He took fourth at the 1999 Orlando nationals in the M40 1500 with a 4:18.61.

Returning to Orono, Maine, for the 2002 masters nationals, he won the M45 800 in 2:00.92, a time that ranked best in the world for his age group.
In March 2003, Castillo ran a masters exhibition 3000 (won by Tony Young) at the USATF indoor championships in Boston in 9:07.52.
At the Puerto Rico world masters meet in 2003 — apparently his last big masters meet — he was second in the M45 800:
1 Crossland, David M45 Great Britain 2:01.26 1:49.82 92.64%
2 Castillo, Roberto M46 United States 2:03.09 1:50.64 91.95%
The original story, in case link gets deleted:
Runner Castillo killed
Posted November 3 2005
Lost in the chaos of Hurricane Wilma was the tragic death of Roberto Castillo.
The runner and cyclist from Miami was struck by a motorist on Oct. 23 while waiting for a group of riders for a training ride in the Redlands. He was 48.
His memorial was Sunday, his funeral Tuesday. Many of his friends were without power and unaware of his death.
Castillo was a fixture on the South Florida racing scene for 20 years. He was a masters national track and field champion and masters cyclist. He placed in the top five three times at the World Masters Track and Field Championships.
Friends remember his pleasant demeanor, friendly smile and humility that put people at ease.
“He was a wonderful man,” said Brian Keno of Fort Lauderdale, a friend and former competitor. “I just saw him last month at Rosewood [Bike Races] and he started explaining to me how to race criteriums when he found out I was getting into biking.
“We would duel it out in the road races many times. He gave me hope as an older guy that you can win against any age. He beat people half his age. I remember racing him neck-and-neck at Calle Ocho five years ago. He just wouldn’t give up and beat me in the last half mile with his amazing miler’s speed.”
Added brother Bruce Keno of Hollywood: “This is such a big loss to the running and cycling community. He touched thousands of people and was so well-respected.
“I believe Roberto was a hurricane casualty. He was such a competitor that even a hurricane couldn’t stop his fierce training regimen. I caution all cyclists to ride the stationary bike until things get back to normal.”
Castillo’s son, Robert, a junior sports management major at Florida International University, followed in his father’s footsteps and is a middle distance runner.
In addition to Robert, Castillo is survived by wife Diana and daughter Diana, 15.

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November 3, 2005

8 Responses

  1. Mark - November 3, 2005

    It saddens me deeply that a good friend, past teamate and terrific athlete has met with such an early death. Roberto was the toughest competitor on the track, but the nicest most genuine guy off the track. I’ve known Roberto since the 1998 Masters Nationals in Maine. We met just after one of the most exciting Masters races I have ever witnessed. The 40-44 800 meter final where Steve Wulf battled Roberto to the end –Roberto diving at the line to nip Steve for the National title win. I actually saw Roberto dive at the end of another National Championship 800m final to win again a few years later.Roberto was very talented with range from 800m all the way up to 10k and beyond.I feel bad that I never made it to Maimi to train with Roberto he had invited me several times,but I never made it. My friend Dave Clingan who many of you know told me some great stories of training with Roberto when he visited Maimi.The lost is huge and I guess we must remind ourselves that we are very privileged to run and compete for the time we have and to rub elbows in the process with some pretty exceptional people. Roberto was one of those people.My heart and prayers go out to his wife and children for a loss that cannot be measured.–Mark Cleary

  2. Saladin Allah - November 4, 2005

    I met this man several years ago after watching him run a beautiful 800m final. We had things in common immediately, and if time wasn’t an issue, we would still be in that same spot conversing.
    Rest in peace Robert, I miss you already……and I know you’re training where you are.
    Sal Allah

  3. francis a Schiro - November 4, 2005

    This was a special guy….i meet him in the 80s…he was a fixture at local road races in Paterson NJ where i was working in a drug/alcohol treatment center. He was ALWAYS kind and polite and had time for anyone..he was also as we all know a hell of a runner. I had started a running team at the residential prgram i worked at and we would go to road races in the area…Roberto was always willing to share some “tips” with us…many of the residents of the program were surprised that he would take the time to talk to them after the race. What a wonderful man he was and what an example for others…One day i hope to see him at the “starting line” again…. Francis A Schiro

  4. Robert Castillo - November 7, 2005

    Roberto Castillo was my father. He was an incredible guy a great husband, a great father, a great friend, and a great athlete. Running was his passion he thrived on competition. Recently he had picked up cycling. He told me his reason for cycling was that his legs and joints were hurting so biking was his new form of competing. He excelled at it in just 2 years of biking he was catching and even beating people that had been biking for over 5 years. I knew cycling was dangerous but he was so happy to be competing so I supported him 100%. I ran when I was young in New Jersey and then again in Highschool. My father was so proud of me. Now im running at Florida International University were I will continue the Castillo legacy. I still feel like he is with me on all my runs its amazing. He had recently told me as well as some of his close friends that he will be stepping on the track once again starting Nov.1 so he can get back into running shape and break the 50 year old age group records. I know he would have broke those records he was just so dedicated. His spirit lives on and he will be there with us in our tough times. You are a champion Pop I Love you, you always beleived in me and now as I show you what I got and I know you will be with me every step of the way.
    Your Proud Son
    Robert Jr.

  5. Jose Castro "zorro" - November 7, 2005

    I run for Florida International University, and Robert Castillo his son, I consider one of my closest and true friends, through him I met his Dad, Roberto…. awesome person always with a smile in his face, throughout the year 2004 I ran many races with him and I learned plenty from him, He always supported me and gave me advice, I will miss him dearly, specially in all my runs at the Kendale Lakes Golf course, he was always there…..The last time I ran at the Golf course was on November 2nd, and when I ran by the spot he used to be at, I said “CASTILLO”, in my heart, he was there saying “Dale, Dale”…. what he would say went I passed by him….I am very priviliged to have shared many runs with him and to have met him, he will be remembered and missed by many, I am one them,
    GODSPEED….Jose Castro “zorro”

  6. Mario Arroyave - November 8, 2005

    I’ll remember Miami-Dade…las on the grass field, or interbals on the track. I’ll remember Rosewood…always inspiring me to break away for the win. I’ll remember Cyclefest 2005…his last road trip. Most of all I’ll remember the fact that castillo was so humble…you’d have to find out from someone else that he was a world class athlete. Te quiero!

  7. Ricky - November 9, 2005

    Robert was like a father to me and too many. I meet Him when I was a beginner, running in high school. I remember those long runs at parrot jungle, he would be doing 18 miles when I would be at 10, but someway we always meet up coming back. I remember what he would tell me,”vamonos Ricky‚Äù, he always believed in me and in so many. Like Robert, he would always tell me how rob (son) could do better, sometimes frustrated because he always new we all were capable of so much more. He is a reason, I started to run. He was the Father of the Scct Team. And always will be. Robert “Vamonos”

  8. bryan orozco - November 13, 2005

    Robert Castillo was my uncle he was and stil is the best uncle in the world he wasnt just a great runner he was great at everything a father friend athlete son whatever u want to call it he was good at ….i miss him and so does my family..and we wil always remember him…love u tio..
    Bryan Orozco

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