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Cambridge Paralympic racer Ben Brown ready for South America

Ben Brown, in the midst of a training session on Black River Road.
Ben Brown, in the midst of a training session on Black River Road. - Sam Macdonald
WHITE ROCK, N.S. —

Ben Brown is pumped and primed for the Parapan American Games. After months of training, the wheelchair racer is wholly confident that he’ll blaze through what awaits in Lima, Peru. Later, he hopes he can ride his success all the way to the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.

Brown spoke to Kings County News about his thoughts on the upcoming competition on the sun-baked, smooth stretch of asphalt that runs along a segment of Black River Road, south of Wolfville, where he was in the middle of a training session.

“I’m ready to go, honestly. I’m counting down the hours and days to fly to Lima and get on the track, to do the final preparations,” said Brown, rolling to a stop from a rigorous round of interval training. “I feel like everything is just coming together really well and, hopefully, all goes according to plan in a little less than two weeks.”

Brown said a highlight he’s been looking forward to is the ability to “wear my country’s flag on my chest,” representing Canada in such a prestigious competition.

“It’s a huge honour and I can’t thank my coach Ueli Albert, my strength coach Elie Maroun and my athletic therapist Monica Carole Palmer enough.”

Brown also extended his gratitude to family, friends, fans and even people who ride along with him on bikes “so I don’t train alone.”
Some of the very support Brown spoke of manifested while he did his interval rounds in the Gaspereau Valley when a passing motorist slowed and called out support.


LIMA GOALS

Brown expressed no worry about the competition, noting that he has raced almost everyone he will compete with in Lima.

“I’m just looking to get some podiums; three medals, preferably, hopefully a fourth,” Brown said.
He will have a busy schedule, as he plans to race the 100, 400, 800 and 1,500-meter races.

Of all those, the event Brown is looking forward to the most is the 800-metre race. He noted that the 1,500-metre is one he is training to do “to help prepare me for the 800-metre.”
The 800, Brown noted, is where he shines, and where sees his best shot at gold.
“I hit the standard in Switzerland, and I was offered to race the 1,500 (in Lima),” Brown said. “When we saw it wasn’t conflicting with my other three events, I said ‘Sure, let’s do it.’”

Brown noted he wants expand upon his success at the nationals, at the Parapan American Games.
“(The nationals) went well. I got three medals, including a gold in the 200-metre. It would have been better, but I didn’t form quite as well as planned,” Brown said. “We tried a couple of equipment changes, and they didn’t quite work out.
“After that, I went back to the wheels I’m using, but we did change the push ring rubber, and that’s been a big help.”
Brown noted things also went well, when racing in Quebec, at the Classique de athletisme Quebec in late July.

“The 100-metre was rough, and the 400-metre got better. For the 800-metre, I went start to finish without a hitch, and that let me know I can pull it off. That let me know I could get under a minute and 47 seconds.”
Going into the Parapan American Games, Brown noted that if he has the right track, he can pull off “certain tactics” in achieving the necessary speed and fluidity of movement he needs to make those best times.


TRAINING

Lately, Brown has been working on getting his endurance levels as high as possible. He knows he can hit those top speeds – the key is maintaining them.

Brown recently saw his progress manifest in exercises such as the particularly grueling set of intervals called ‘60-60s,’ which incorporate 60 seconds of hard work, followed by 60 seconds of slower paced movement.

“They’re high-intensity workouts. I love training in general, but I have always had the firm belief that if you train hard, you can race hard,” Brown said. “I’m back to where I want to be, mentally and physically. It’s been a long season and, well, hopefully it’s going to be a longer season.”
 

Sam.Macdonald@kingscountynews.ca
 

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