Browne Finishes 65th in Olympic Men's Marathon
By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service
ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 30, 2004 Oregon National Guard Capt. Dan Browne pushed himself to the limit Aug. 29 to finish 65th in the men's marathon in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.
Browne, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., was one of 81 runners to complete the challenging, 26.2-mile trek from Marathon to Panathinaiko Stadium, site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
Twenty other runners succumbed to the 86-degree heat and 39 percent humidity and failed to finish.
Browne, 29, of Portland, Ore., entered the stadium running on empty and could barely walk or talk after crossing the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 17 seconds.
"I'm done to the end," he said. "That was all I had out there."
Italy's Stefano Baldini, 33, won the gold medal with a time of 2:10:55.
Silver medalist Mebrahtom Keflezighi, 29, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., became the first American to win a medal in the men's marathon since Frank Shorter won silver in 1976. Brazil's Vanderlei Lima, 34, won the bronze medal in 2:12:11.
Browne finished 16:22 behind two-time marathon world champion Baldini.
"I'm pretty worked right now," said Browne, who has run only three marathons. "It was just really hard to finish this race. I had to dig in."
Browne is a student of the physics of distance running. He lives with marathoners who benefit from a high-tech training project under the supervision of coach Alberto Salazar.
The five-bedroom house the athletes call home is at sea level, but it features molecular filters inside that remove oxygen, leaving the athletes with the sensation that they are living in the thin air of 12,000 feet. Living at high altitude, which requires a person's body to adapt to less oxygen in the air, increases their oxygen-carrying efficiency and is believed to improve performance in endurance events.
"I was dehydrated pretty bad," said Browne, who was slowed more by the heat than the hilly terrain. "I drank a lot, but I guess it wasn't enough."
Browne is a former member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.
(Tim Hipps is assigned to the Army Community and Family Support Center Public Affairs Office.)