Nate Brannen Talks About Mercedes-Benz Classic Mile in Cambridge, Ontario from: Mercedes Benz Classic Mile April 10, 2007
The Mercedes-Benz Classic Mile is set for June 16, 2007. With a stellar field of milers already confirmed on the men's side, the old school mile held on a historic crushed clay track proves to be thrilling as the runners will race for one of the largest prizes ever offered to a middle distance runner on Canadian soil - a 2007 Mercedes-Benz B200.
Hometown hero and 2006 Commonwealth Games Silver medallist Nate Brannen (Can) will once again lace up the shoes and challenge the 2005 and 2006 Classic Mile champion Laban Rotich (Ken). In 2006 in cold and windy conditions, these runners finished in a dead heat with Rotich narrowly defeating Brannen in a photo finish.
Classic Mile race director John Carson recently caught up with Brannen for a brief discussion on the Classic Mile event
JC: What type of emotion did you feel last year racing in front of a home town crowd?
NB: The atmosphere last year was amazing. I had about 50 of my family and friends there watcing me plus the rest of Cambridge chearing me on, you can't get much better than that.
JC: Please comment on the clay track and the historic setting at Galt Collegiate.
NB: This was my first time racing on a clay track and you can definitely feel the difference compared to rubberized or mondo tracks but at the same time it was a great experience and something a little different than the usual which made the race very exciting. Not only is the race on a clay track, bringing this old school but it is at one of the oldest high schools in Ontario, making the venue that much more special. Not to mention the track is only about 4 miles from my house.
JC: A large part of the Classic Mile is showcasing world class racing here in Canada. Do you have any words for the up and coming high school athletes that will be racing in the High School Invitational races. Who was your role model when you were in high school?
NB: My only words of advice for the high schoolers would be to enjoy the atmosphere and the race and take as much of it in as possible. Not often do you get to race on a cinder track, in a small town where everyone is there for one reason, to watch the mile. I had a couple role models while growing up but someone I definitely looked up to was Kevin Sullivan. I only knew of the name and his accomplishments and it wasn't until I came to Michigan that I really got a chance to meet him.
JC: An on going tradition at the Classic Mile has always been to play live music while the runners race. The tunes have included Keep on Runn'in, Soul Man, Signed Seal Delivered, and Have a Little Faith. What music would like to request for this year's elite men's mile?
NB: While racing or even training I love listening to any classic rock. It really gets me pumped up and who doesn't like a little Rolling Stones, AC/DC, or Guns and Roses playing in the background while doing a really hard workout. If that doesn't get you pumped up and motivated I don't know what would.
JC: Do you think you have a shot at winning one of North America's largest track prizes this year - a 2007 Mercedes-Benz?
NB: I definitely think I have a good shot at breaking 4 minutes for the mile there but there are a lot of good guys and it's the winner that takes home the top prize. I'm not coming back to race in front of my home crowd and not go after the grand prize. JC: Thanks Nate and good luck with your 2007 season.