Français
post-it-member post-it-club-finder post-it-coaching
 Latest News  Recent News Headlines

Jul 17 2017 - JDLF Athlete Profile: Barry Britt On Making The Transition

Words by Grace Annear

 

Barry Britt has been on more national teams than just about any other Athletics New Brunswick athlete. He’s represented Canada nine times, including seven Senior National Cross-Country teams. He’s spent the better part of a decade running through the streets of Hampton, NB, the dirt roads of Moscow, Idaho, and the trails of Guelph, Ontario. His long stride floats like a nimble-legged ghost, and elite athletes across Canada know him as an offbeat, lanky east coaster, as a crazy mileage guy who lives on steak and potatoes.

 

In 2016 he qualified to represent Team Canada—Nouveau-Brunswick at the World Francophone Games. He’s spent 2017 moving in a new direction, while simultaneously gearing up to compete again on the world’s stage.

 

Inspired by his road running dad and cousin, Barry first started racing in his early teens. In 2005 he medaled in his age category at Legions and qualified for Canada Games. Though the travel opportunities initially hooked him into the sport, he stayed for what he calls “the typical clichés”.

 

“From the beginning, I loved thrill of racing, of competing and challenging myself, and of seeing personal growth day after day.”

 

After high school he travelled south of the border. First to Georgia State and then to Idaho, he lived his dream of the near-professional NCAA lifestyle.

 

“School was paid for. I got free gear, travelled to top meets, and trained in beautiful facilities. I had coaches who treated athletes with the respect of professionals and who put so much work into the program. I had a ton of fun and loved every second of it.”

 

After coaching and training for a year in Idaho, he joined the Speed River program in Guelph. For two years he lived the professional athlete life, running 160-180km a week and working part-time. For a decade, Barry has excelled in the muddy, tough conditions of the cross-country course, out-gritting fairweather athletes to medal positions at national championships.

 

Now, he’s entering a new stage of life. Last fall he enrolled in Firefighting at Holland College, and with that came big changes.

 

“[Being a firefighter] was actually my dream as a little kid – my dad’s a firefighter. In university, I took a class where we had to interview a working professional, so I asked my dad about his work. He gave me a paragraph answer, and it gave me chills. Instantly, I was like ‘I want that for my life’.”

 

“I’ve always liked that, when you’re a firefighter, you are able to help people on a daily basis.  Whether it’s something big like saving someone from burning building, or saving someone with CPR, or even just lending a shoulder to cry on, I find this profession to be special and meaningful.”

 

This past year, life as a firefighter-in-training kept him busy. The military-style training began with 5:30 am gym sessions and often ended with classes into the night. This busy schedule forced him to cut down his athletics program – he shifted from fourteen runs per week to four or five.

 

“I feel like I’m moving into a different stage as an athlete. Last fall was the first time that school came first and running came second. It was a change, but I wasn’t upset. It feels like the right time to make this change, and it’s so cool to pursue something so meaningful to me.”

 

Throughout the process, he found a ton of connections between running and firefighting. “I noticed, once I started the program, how much things cross over. They’re both oriented around hard work, commitment, attention to detail. But more than that, to be good at it, you need to always want to evolve and get better. Once you graduate, you can’t just sit on your butt. You need to keep learning, keep staying up to date, otherwise you’re limiting yourself and the people you serve.”

 

“You can’t be a complacent firefighter. To be a good runner it’s the same.”

 

In May, he passed a final interview for the Saint John Fire Department. After four weeks of additional training, the city of Saint John will hire him as a full-fledged firefighter. In terms of track, Barry’s summer racing plans revolve around competing in the 5k at JDLF in July. He was able to maintain a baseline fitness in the fall, and when classes ended in January, he started ramping back up into training.

 

To complete as he hopes, he will rely on the deeply ingrained history of miles and miles. Despite having to back off the past year, he knows the time spent hardening his stride will serve him at JDLF this year. More importantly, though, his years and years will of running have prepared him for the next stage of life, one he’s thrilled to begin.

 

 

To follow Barry’s journey, hop over to ANB.ca, or check out his social media @brit8180

 

2017-11-05 - Atlantic Cross Country Championships Recap
2017-11-02 - Lalonde, Doucet, Dickinson, LeBlanc , Coombes, Church and Arseneault among Sport NB's Konica Minolta Sport Awards Finalist
2017-10-30 - Atlantic Athletics Summit
2017-10-29 - High Performance Director Tour
2017-10-26 - Atlantic University Cross country Championships Set for this weekend

 News by Month
November 2017 October 2017 September 2017
August 2017 July 2017 June 2017
May 2017 April 2017 March 2017
February 2017 January 2017 December 2016
November 2016 October 2016 September 2016
August 2016 July 2016 June 2016
May 2016 April 2016 March 2016
February 2016 January 2016 December 2015
November 2015 October 2015 September 2015
August 2015 July 2015 June 2015
May 2015 April 2015 March 2015
February 2015 January 2015 December 2014
November 2014 October 2014 September 2014
August 2014 July 2014 June 2014
May 2014 April 2014 March 2014
February 2014 January 2014 December 2013
November 2013 October 2013 September 2013
August 2013 July 2013 June 2013
May 2013 April 2013 March 2013
February 2013 January 2013 December 2012
November 2012 October 2012 September 2012
August 2012 July 2012 June 2012
May 2012 April 2012 March 2012
February 2012 January 2012 December 2011
November 2011 October 2011 September 2011
August 2011 July 2011 June 2011
May 2011 April 2011 March 2011
February 2011 January 2011 December 2010
November 2010 October 2010 September 2010
August 2010 July 2010 June 2010
May 2010 April 2010 March 2010
February 2010 January 2010 December 2009
November 2009 October 2009 September 2009
August 2009 July 2009 June 2009
May 2009 April 2009 March 2009
February 2009 January 2009 December 2008
October 2008 August 2008 July 2008
June 2008 May 2008 April 2008
March 2008 February 2008 January 2008
December 2007 November 2007 October 2007
August 2007 July 2007 June 2007
May 2007 April 2007 March 2007
February 2007 January 2007 December 2006
November 2006 October 2006 August 2006
July 2006 June 2006 May 2006
April 2006 March 2006 February 2006
January 2006 December 2005 November 2005
October 2005 September 2005 August 2005
July 2005 June 2005 May 2005
March 2005 February 2005 January 2005