(Daniel Brown is an Ambassador for Force 5 Equipment – his sponsor. Photo: Stittsville Central)
He is from Stittsville, 15 years old, a grade 11 student at South Carleton High School and an athlete who knows what the podium moment feels like. Daniel Brown is heading to Brentwood, South Essex, UK to participate in the World Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) Championship this October, 2019.
The Championships are being held in the small village of Kelvedon Hatch. Kelvedon Hatch is well-known as the site of the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker — the largest and deepest cold war bunker open to the public — a perfect site for the World OCR Championships.
We sat down with Daniel, and his Mom Karen, so he could enlighten everyone and share his story. First, obstacle course racing combines both trail running and mountain climbing amidst a variety of speed, strength and agility obstacles throughout the distances chosen to run. In a typical race there are 40 obstacles that test a person’s endurance — from climbing, wreck bag carry (equivalent to lugging a 50-lb sandbag), agility and grip strength.
(Daniel showing how it is done in competition! Photo: Brown family collection)
During the year, Daniel competes in about 20 races. This year was no different with his travel taking him to races in Québec and the United States – namely, Virginia, Vermont and New Jersey. If there is a mountain nearby, it is a perfect race location.
At his first race in 2011, at only 9 years old he placed 1st. A signal of what was to come. In 2016, he completed his first Adult Spartan Race, crossing the finish line with his Dad in tow. At age 14 in 2018, Daniel was 1st in the OCR 13-19 age group. 2019 has proven to be a spectacular year for him. Competing at the North American Obstacle Course Racing Championship in Vermont, Daniel placed 1st in the 15 km male age group ages of 13-17 race and placed 3rd in the 3 km age group of 13-19 males. These performances qualified him to participate at the Worlds in the UK. He has made the podium time after time.
(Just some of the medals Daniel has won over the course of his racing. Photo: Stittsville Central)
It is not all races and medals though, a lot is sacrificed to become an athlete and Daniel feels “he has missed out on spending a lot of family time together”. He added “… has had to give up competitive hockey also to allow for training and travel to happen”.
Daniel gets his motivation from seeing just how far he can go and training with his Dad assists too. Karen noted “before a race he shows no nervousness”, and his Coach, Morgan McKay, calls him ‘a humble athlete’. Daniel works and trains at the OCR Academy in Ottawa’s West End — https://www.obstacletraining.ca. Because Daniel is so successful in his racing, he is now an Ambassador for and is sponsored by Force 5 Equipment — https://www.force5equipment.com — an OCR training equipment company based in Montreal.
(Showing us some basics in his front yard. Photo: Stittsville Central)
Daniel told us that the World Obstacle Course Racing Federation is hoping to have the sport introduced to the Olympics in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics to be held in Paris, France. After the Worlds and possibly the Olympics, Daniel sees himself turning pro when he could then earn some money. He referred to Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster who have turned pro and have been successful in their careers.
Now to do all of this and ensure Daniel gets to the 2019 World OCR Championships, he needs a little financial assistance to help offset some of the costs (flights/accommodation) related to the trip. A Fundify page has been set-up so you can donate — every little bit will help and is immensely appreciated — http://www.fundify.ca/campaigns/daniels-world-ocr-championship. It would be fantastic to see Stittsville residents and businesses help this amazing young athlete on his path to winning at the 2019 World Obstacle Course Racing Championship.
Daniel posts regularly to his Instagram account and you can follow him at: https://www.instagram.com/daniel.brown.ocr/.
Daniel Brown on the podium, centre, at the 2019 North American Obstacle Course Racing Championships, Stratton Mountain, Vermont. (Photo: Brown family collection)
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