Video by David Bebee, Record staff
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — It’s a long way from the streets of Preston to this dusty footpath in the Sonoran Desert.
Nate Brannen, built racetrack lean, is doing what he’s always done best. He’s running — past red rocks baked in the Arizona sun under a baby blue sky. It’s a smooth, effortless motion for an athlete who has been knocked off his feet so many times by the physical toll of running professionally.
Brannen, the Cambridge-raised track phenomenon, is plotting his return to the Olympics in a land of jackrabbits, rattlesnakes and scorpions. Arizona has been the Olympian’s winter home for three years, and he says it’s part of the reason he’s in the best shape of his life.
This isn’t a feel-good story. This is about unfinished business.
At 29, Brannen’s career as a middle-distance runner is already a blur of highlights. Breaking the four-minute barrier for the mile while still in high school. Athlete of the year at the University of Michigan. Running for Canada at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Records broken, medals piling up.
So hasn’t he accomplished enough? Not a chance.
“I don’t want to walk away from the sport missing anything. I want to walk away knowing I ran everything out of my body that was possible,” he said.
Read the full story here.