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Canadian runner Nate Brannen hangs up spikes after 19 years

It's time for Nate Brannen to "just be dad" after 19 years of competitive running, three Olympics and six Canadian titles in the 1,500 metres.

The Cambridge, Ont., native released a statement on Monday, saying he would enter the "odd road race" in the future but he was ending his competitive career.

"It's hard to believe my career began almost 20 years ago when I made my first national team and would compete at the 1999 Pan American junior championships," the 35-year-old said. "There were a lot of ups and downs along the way [but] the desire to see how good I could be and also the love for the sport kept the drive going.

"I feel good about my decision to retire and take the next step in life."

Wishing a Happy Retirement to a man whose career covered almost 13 years with 3 Olympic teams, 7 World Championship Teams, plus a few medals and finals in he mix; Team Canada’s <a href="https://twitter.com/natebrannen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NateBrannen</a>. Incredible career. ???????? <a href="https://t.co/nlAfkIHuDY">pic.twitter.com/nlAfkIHuDY</a>


Brannen was an Olympic finalist at his final Summer Games in 2016, placing 10th at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He represented Canada on 20 national teams, with his greatest achievements being silver-medal performances at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, where she share third place with teammate Charles Philibert-Thiboutot.

Brannen broke seven national records and retires as the current record holder in four events: The outdoor 1,000m (2:16.52) and 2,000 (4:59.56) along with the indoor 1,000 (2:16.87) and mile (3:54.32).

Grew up looking up to <a href="https://twitter.com/natebrannen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@natebrannen</a> when I was new to the sport, got the chance to compete against him and the honor to run with him in Rio. Congrats on your inspiring career and thank you for keeping the tradition of world class Canadian milers alive!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thanksnate?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#thanksnate</a> ???????? <a href="https://t.co/hGwndQKAxy">https://t.co/hGwndQKAxy</a>


He captured the 1,500 title four consecutive times from 2011 to 2014 after prevailing in 2006 and 2009.

Competitive kid

Brannen attended the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sports management and communications. He was a four-time NCAA champion, 11-time all-American and lives in Avon Lake, Ohio with his wife Theresa and children Gianna, 6, and Grayson, 3.

So much to be proud of! Congrats on an incredible career. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/forevergoblue?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#forevergoblue</a>


A competitive kid with loads of energy, Brannen became hooked on running as an eight-year-old. While in elementary school, he and his friends would often re-enact Olympic performances.

He went on to compete at four world championships, finishing as high as 10th in the 12-man 1,500 final in 2013.

Brannen burst on the international scene as an 18-year-old in 2001 and from there representing Canada at the Olympics became his ultimate goal.

If I ever had a late night in college, <a href="https://twitter.com/natebrannen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@natebrannen</a> would destroy me on the following day's workout. Knowing I had to be at the top of my game just to hang with him taught me its the 22 hours outside of training that really makes the difference. Take care of your body kids.


At the 2001 Aileen Meagher Classic in Halifax, Brannen clocked 3:59.85 to become the seventh sub-four minute miler in North American history.

"My running career wouldn't be where it is today without the amazing coaches I've had along the way," he said. "From my first coach in high school, Peter Grinbergs, to my college coach at the University of Michigan, Ron Warhurst, and finally my latest coach, Wynn Gmitroski. All three of these coaches played major roles in my development.

"I've been asked too many times if I've ever run a marathon and my answer is always no. It's time to change that answer, but the only question now is which marathon to do as my first?"

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