Running community mourns loss of Gabe Proctor

By Becky Wade

May 23, 2017

Gabe Proctor—two-time NCAA Division II Champion, Olympic Trials participant and former member of the Mammoth Track Club—died on Saturday, May 20 at age 27. A victim of severe depression, he took his own life in Lyndonville, Vermont.

Proctor’s friends, family, and teammates remember him for much more than his running accolades, which include personal bests of 1:02:22 in the half marathon and 2:13:45 in the marathon.

He was deeply connected to his relatives in Ethiopia, whom he left at age 10 when he was adopted by Jim and Caryl Proctor of Vermont. In a statement released this morning, Proctor’s family said he had a “heart as big as all the world” and “he always made a point of being kind to people whom others were rejecting.”

I was fortunate enough to spend a summer with Gabe and his Mammoth Track Club teammates back in 2014. Between 140-mile weeks, three-a-day runs, and workouts impressive enough to spark Meb Keflezighi comparisons, Gabe was a model of devotion and a friend to many. Known for his kind and fun-loving spirit and respected for his monstrous work capacity, his absence will be felt profoundly by those who knew, loved, and ran with him.

Rest in peace, Gabe.

If you need help or know someone that does, don’t wait. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800- 273-8255) offers free and confidential support for people in distress 24 hours a day.

Becky Wade

Native Texan, Rice University grad, Colorado transplant. Specializing in the 3K Steeplechase and Marathon. Author of “Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe,” which is available on Amazon and wherever else you get your books.