Nate Brannen signs with Nike, may move up to 5,000m

May 1, 2017 0

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Nate Brannen at the 2014 Harry Jerome Track Classic.

© Copyright – 2017 – Athletics Illustrated

Three-time Canadian Olympian Nate Brannen has signed an athlete agreement with Nike, the largest sportswear company in the world.

After being without a shoe sponsor since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Nike picked him up and has given the 1500m specialist an opportunity to continue his career running for Canada.

The father of two has been Canada’s most consistent 1500m runner over the past decade. Currently, he is training with more volume to see if a move up to the 5,000m distance is in the cards. He is undecided at this time, however, will run the longer, 12.5-lap race at the Payton Jordan Invitational Friday night to see what comes of it.

Asked about the potential move up, Brannen told Athletics Illustrated, “It might be better to ask by after Friday. See how that goes then I can let you know.”

The 34-year-old is looking to run sub-13:20, but admits with the harder training he is feeling a little sluggish and has been training alone. “It’s been fun training for the longer distance but I’ve done everything 100% solo, so that’s hard.”

He will follow-up the Payton Jordan 5,000m with a go at the 1500m on May 15 in Swarthmore, PA.

“[The agreement] has been in the works since Birmingham Indoors. It’s definitely a change being that I was with Saucony for seven years, but I’m excited about this new chapter and being able to continue what I love to do with the support of Nike.”

The qualification standard for the 2017 London IAAF World Track and Field Championships 1500m distance is 3:36.00 or 3:53.40 in the 1609m (mile). Brannen owns a personal best of 3:34.22 from May of 2012. The Canadian record is held by Kevin Sullivan, who ran as fast as 3:31.71 in 2000.

The 5,000m standard is 13:22.60. Brannen’s best in the distance is 13:43.19 from 2007. He has focussed solely on the 1500m distance through his professional career, therefore his current 5,000m best probably does not represent his capability.

As a 1500m specialist, he has run as fast as 7:47.90 indoors and 7:48.98 outdoors in the 3,000m event, which suggests that he is capable of 13:20 without specific 5,000m training.

The national record is held by St. Catharine’s, Ontario native Mohammed Ahmed with his 2016 performance of 13:01.74.

 


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