“In the dust of defeat as well as the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best.” – quote attributed to Eric Liddell

The Olympics have ended and now the 2012 Paralympics are set to start, but a few moments still remain. One of these moments is the Eric Liddell-like, inspiring run by Nate Brannen in his Olympic 1500m final.

Eric Liddell, although a sprinter (one of the characters in the famous film, “Chariots of Fire“) is said to have run a race, fallen, gotten up and raced back to make up a 20 yard gap and win his race. Nate Brannen fell during his race, a strategic race where some of the world’s fastest runners jostled and moved t try and assure themselves a spot to rush for a medal at the end. With a bloodied leg from the scrape of a fellow runner’s spikes, a blow to his body and his concentration and race plan, Nate Brannen did not stop, did not cry and wonder what could have been. Nate got up, and ran to make up the gap.

Nate Brannen running in the 1500m heats at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Photo: Claus Andersen.
Nate Brannen running in the 1500m heats at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Photo: Claus Andersen.

Like myself and many others, we sat on the edge of couches and chairs and gasped as Nate went down, we also pumped our fists and felt admiration and pride as he chased down the group again. Nate Brannen did not win the race but he won a place of pride and respect with many runners and Canadians.

Nate Brannen
Nathan Brannen was born September 8, 1982 in Cambridge, Ontario and is a graduate of the University of Michigan and currently lives in Tallasse, Florida as an owner of a running store called “Capital City Runners” with fellow Canadian Kevin Sullivan. Nate’s accomplishments are almost too many to list, 2-time Olympian, 4-time Canadian Champion in the 1500m, silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games NCAA Indoor Champion and has run at World Cross Country Championships and too many international races to mention.

Personal Bests

ISR 1 Mile Record, Boston, MA, USA (Indoor 1 Mile)                                      3:55.11
NCAA Championships, Baton Rouge, LA, USA (800 Metre) 5th                 1:46.00
Gugl Games, Linz, AUT (1000 Metre) 2nd                                                            2:16.52
Fanny Blankers-Koen Games, Hengelo, , NED (1500 Metre) 8th                3:34.22
2009 Prefontaine Classic, Eugene, OR, USA (1 Mile) 3rd                               3:52.63

Reaching out I made contact with Nate and had the chance to ask him a few questions. Here are his answers to share with you.

What do you take away from your London 2012 experience?
“I left London with a lot of questions in my head, a lot of what ifs. I came into this Games more prepared than I’ve ever been in my life and really ready to do something big. I told people my goal was first to make the final but in reality I was going there to medal. I always have goals but a lot of times I like to keep them to myself and this was one of them. I knew I was ready and had as good a chance as anyone. I gained a lot of confidence from racing at these Games and I know I can compete against the best.”

What has running taught you about yourself and running over the years?
“Without running I may have never known how much strength I have and my tenacity to overcome life’s struggles. It is these struggles that really allow a person to see who they really are. I’m a fighter and always will be no matter what life throws at me.”

What will your focus be post 2012?
“There are a lot of big events coming up in the next 4 years. Next year I have the World Championships in Moscow, 2014 is the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 2015 is the Pan Am Games in Toronto along with the World Championships in Beijing, then finally the Olympic Games in Rio. So my calendar is going to be pretty busy over the next 4 years with some big events to focus on. I’ve always said, I will continue right through 2016 and these Games just light my fire that much more and really give me something to chase. After Rio I will take it 1 year at a time but I’m 100% committed to through 2016.”

Nate Brannen has shown his potential, his tenacity and guts in 2012 and with 2016 in his sights we will have an experienced international-calibre runner with fire in his belly in Rio. Just after the Olympics, fit and ready Nate recently ran second in a 1000m race in a new Canadian record time of 2:16.52 in Linz, Austria. Run on Nate and see you in 2016.

Nate’s website


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