Brandon McBride of Windsor, Ont. became the Canadian 800m record-holder two weeks ago at the Monaco Diamond League, eclipsing Gary Reed’s previous record of 1:43.68 by running 1:43.20.
McBride has been dominant in the 800m for several years now. The 24-year-old is a former NCAA Champion, a World Championship finalist, and a three-time Canadian national champion.
McBride had a difficult national championship. The 800m runner lost his spikes before the race and didn’t find them until roughly one minute before. That makes for a weird warm-up. He jokes that “Coach now carries an extra pair of spikes in his bag at meets.”
In the race, McBride didn’t look like himself. Marco Arop led wire to wire and won the championship.
After nationals it was time to regroup and look forward to his next race. “I relied on my experience and inner circle to help me regroup. I know that anyone can lose on any given day. That helped. My inner circle was extremely supportive in helping me get back on my feet. Without them, I don’t think I would’ve been able to bounce back so quickly.”
He continued, “The mental game is extremely important. A person can win or lose a race based on their mental state.”
McBride put nationals behind him and stepped onto the line in Monaco ready to go. When asked if he had any idea he was ready to break the record he said, “Based on my workouts leading up, I had an idea that I was going to run fast. It wasn’t just about how fast I was running the workouts. It was about how the workouts felt. I knew if I made the right moves, and the race went out fast, I would have a good shot at a personal best.”
In the middle of a race, especially an 800m, runners aren’t always aware of how quickly they are running. But McBride said he knew coming into the last 200m that he was running fast. “I saw the splits and got excited. At that point I just wanted to complete the last 200m, and run as fast as possible.”
McBride says the entire experience doesn’t feel real. It feels like a dream. “I celebrated that night with dinner with my agent and coach. Then I had dinner with my parents. Nothing that special, I still have the rest of the season to think about. I’ll celebrate when the season ends.”
McBride hinted at having big plans for the NACAC Championships and other upcoming meets. “Hopefully I’ll have a few things to celebrate by then.”
McBride is currently in ninth place in the Diamond League men’s 800m standing. If he can get into the Birmingham Diamond League race and score enough points, it is likely that he will make the Diamond League final in Brussels at the end of the month.
The NACAC Championships are August 10-12th at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium.