On his journey to becoming a 2004 Olympian, there was one lesson Maj. Dan Browne learned above all others.
“In running, it’s all about doing the hard work upfront,” he says. “Then the results will come.”
This summer, Browne has seen that lesson prove true — this time in his role as track and field coach of the Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). After years of preparation and months of intense training, four of the seven members of his team qualified at the track trials in Eugene, Ore., and are heading to Rio de Janeiro in August.
“I know all the hard work, dedication and sacrifice these guys have put in,” Browne says. “I’m really proud of their commitment to the Army and to serving their country and representing the United States.”
Browne, a 1997 West Point graduate — the first cadet to run a mile in under four minutes — knows about hard work, too, having competed in the 10,000-kilometer and marathon events on the 2004 Olympic track team.
Now a major in the Oregon Army National Guard, Browne coaches the Army WCAP runners. He and his team have spent three focused years preparing for Rio.
That training included a few weeks of running at Mammoth Lakes, Calif. Its altitude, 7,880 feet, provides a special challenge for athletes that Browne believes gives his team an advantage as it heads to the games.
And so does the support of the military.
“The Army has been tremendous in its support of these soldiers as they pursue their dreams,” he says. “And, in turn, these soldiers have really stepped forward and accomplished a tremendously difficult mission. They’re great ambassadors for the Army. They represent the sacrifice, the work ethic and mission-focused mentality that all soldiers in the Army have.
“Now it’s on to Rio,” he says. “The mountain is still there, and we’re just going to continue to climb.”
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