Donald Brown interviews an athleteDonald Brown interviews an athlete

In Derby 26th – 28th July

Enter here before 13th July On Opentrack

Even if you can’t compete take part anyway

As our entry date approaches quickly – we hear from a very well known athlete who when he can’t compete puts back into the sport in another voluntary capacity.  Whilst we all want to compete – please remember without our volunteers we cannot operate our competitions, championships etc.  So if you are not able to compete in Derby – please offer your services as a volunteer.  We need people with all sort of skills.

Don Brown’s views on taking part

As a commentator

The sheer joy and satisfaction of training and competing for athletics far outweighs the physical challenges and injuries that I have encountered.   In 2020, the prognosis from an MRI on my knee resulted in my reluctant retirement from competition.  Grade four cartilage deterioration coupled with osteoarthritis has currently robbed me of my joy of competing at my potential.  Having segued into commentating in 2022, I was able to stay connected with athletics and appreciate it from a different perspective.  

Trying to find a way back

Three years on from retiring, I thought I would have a gentle test run on grass.  Surprisingly, there was no immediate reaction.  I gradually eased my way back into training only to realise and truly appreciate how important it was and is to consistently train.  I had lost so much speed and strength but was thrilled to be back on the track.  A few runs at the Torun Europeans this year was encouraging and sparked even more determination to try and make a full comeback.

Sadly, the condition of my knee has returned as I suspected it would and just days after entering for Masters Nationals and Gothenburg.  Just the thought of possibly competing again was both therapeutic and exhilarating.  

Psychological Benefits

Donald Brown with a trio of gold medals from Caorle/Jesolo
Donald Brown with a trio of gold medals from Caorle/Jesolo

Although it is exciting and wonderful to compete with and against fellow athletes, the psychological benefits of the personal challenge we experience in our quest to do our best can be extremely rewarding.  This ensures that regardless of where we finish in our events, we can all be winners in our personal, emotional, spiritual and mental growth and development.  If we do not appreciate and embrace the many benefits of athletics and focus only on winning our events, we will fail to see the bigger and more important picture. 

Having a knee operation is out of the question.  Alas, my search to find a way back continues. 

Masters Athletics is without doubt, an excellent road to travel on the journey to improve one’s health and wellness.  The friendships and social camaraderie are second to none.  

My encouragement to all is that as we grow less young, let us embrace the obstacles and challenges that may at first appear to be setbacks.  Your setback can be a setup for your comeback.  This is a powerful lesson that we can apply to other areas of our life.  It can be so easy to throw in the towel but remember, the moment you give up, you create your own finishing line.

Carpe Diem

For those of you who are able to compete at Nationals, and also Gothenburg, seize the day.  Tomorrow is not promised. If you put off until tomorrow what you can do today, you may find the opportunity for you to realise your potential has passed you by.

Donald Brown