By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — David Forster Jr. was known for his quick speed and his kind spirit.

“Just a humble guy,” said Dustin Franta, Forster’s friend. “He was really good at making us all feel like we were part of the process and part of the group.”

The 27-year-old played football at Hopkins High School before becoming one of the top runners in cross country and track at St. John’s University. He would later run several marathons.

“He was an elite runner,” said Robert Pfefferle, Forster’s uncle. “He had run Grandma’s [Marathon] the previous year in two hours and 37 minutes.”

But he would scale back that pace this year to finish the race with his fiancée. A week later, he died while out on a run near his home in northeast Minneapolis.

David Forster Jr. (credit: Forster Family)

David Forster Jr. (credit: Forster Family)

“It’s pretty hard to make any sense out of it,” Pfefferle said. “If you asked any one of us who was the healthiest person, you probably would have said David.”

His college teammates got together in northeast Minneapolis Tuesday night to finish Forster’s run.

“Dave did his best to live out each day to the fullest,” said Andy Clasen, a former teammate and friend.

What was more special than his accomplishments, his family says, was his character. They hope to live their lives in the way Forster loved to run, focusing not on the time but the journey.

“He didn’t really care, you know, what the time was, how fast he ran it,” Pfefferle said. “I think we can all learn from that … do it the way David did. Do it the right way.”

Forster was engaged to be married on New Year’s Eve later this year.

Friends and family wore Nike shoes in David’s honor to his funeral.

Anyone who would like to donate to Forster’s family can send checks to:

    Edina Chapel
    5000 W. 50th St. at Hwy 100
    Edina, MN 55436
    C/O/ Shawn Love

Checks should be made out to the “Forster Family, C/O St. John’s University.”

Kate Raddatz