Nathan Brannen of Cambridge, Ont., announced today that he has retired from track and field competition.

“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,” said Brannen. “As a naive 16-year old, I never would have imagined still competing 19 years and three Olympic Games later. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of ups and downs along the way, some that made me question what I was doing and if I mentally had it in me to keep going. The desire to see how good I could be and also the love for the sport kept the drive going,” said Brannen.

Read the full statement here.

A three-time Olympian, Brannen got his start in high school with coach Peter Grinbergs. At the 2001 Aileen Meagher Classic, Brannen ran 3:59.85 to become the seventh sub-four minute miler in the history of North America. Later that summer, he represented Canada in the 800-metres at the IAAF World Championships in Edmonton. Brannen finished fifth in his heat, only 0.58 seconds off the heat winner.


At the University of Michigan, Brannen had a very successful cross country and track career. Under the direction of coach Ron Warhurst, he collected four NCAA titles and 11 All-American honours (three in cross country and eight in track and field).

At the Canadian Track & Field Championships, Brannen won six senior 1500-metres titles (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).

Brannen represented Canada on 20 national teams, including the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. His biggest international accomplishments included medals over 1500-metres at the 2006 Commonwealth Games (silver) and 2015 Pan American Games (silver).

During his career, Brannen broke seven Canadian records and retires as the current record holder in four events: outdoors at 1,000-metres (2:16.52) and 2000-metres (4:59.56), and indoors in the 1,000-metres (2:16.87) and mile (3:54.32).

While his days of competitive track are over, keep an eye out for him on the roads. “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?”