GUILDFORD â€” In 2013, Ephraim Tadesse ran a time of 3:56.77 to win the 1,500-metre race at the Fraser Valleys, breaking a record that stood since 1979.
Two weeks ago, his younger brother Nathan beat his time by 1.46 seconds, claiming the gold medal in the 2015 championship.
â€œHe was just happy I didnâ€™t lose,â€ said Nathan with a laugh. â€œIf I lost and someone else took the record, I think he wouldâ€™ve been less happy about that.â€
Not only did he outrun everyone in the 1,500-metre race, the 18-year-old North Surrey Secondary senior nabbed a second gold in 3,000-metre event, finishing with a time of 8:51.71.
Despite taking his brotherâ€™s record, Nathan said thereâ€™s no sibling rivalry.
In fact, the younger Tadesse â€“ who initially ran cross country â€“ got his start running track in Grade 8 through his big brother, prompting him to more seriously pursue middle distance races in his freshman and sophomore years of high school.
â€œComing into it, I actually wanted to run the 400 metres â€“ I thought I could be a really good 400-metre runner because I was quick, but I kind of got forced into the middle distance by our coaches,â€ said Nathan with a grin as NSS head coach Scott Svelander stood nearby.
â€œFrom a coachâ€™s perspective, people have predispositions to certain events,â€ explained Svelander in his reasoning for pushing Nathan toward endurance running. â€œAll runners think theyâ€™re sprinters when they come out â€“ they all have to be fast. Even a world class distance runner has to be very, very fast.â€
Evidently, Svelander got it right, translating Nathanâ€™s success on the trails to the track. The coach has seen Nathan grow and progress over the last several years to the proverbial frontrunner he is today.
â€œWhen he first came out in Grade 8, I think he was a close second to a bunch of club guys right away,â€ said Svelander. â€œHe came out and had a lot of talent.
â€œAt first, it was just that little bit of commitment, but when he caught fire, he really latched onto it.â€
But Nathanâ€™s rise hasnâ€™t been without a few bumps. An iron deficiency in his junior year affected his finish in the B.C. Cross Country Championships, dropping to 25th. A combination of iron supplements and training brought him back to the front of the pack the following year, when he won gold.
â€œThe iron helped a lot for recovery and just feeling good, and the training on top of the iron was why I was able to win it,â€ he said.
Next week at Langleyâ€™s McLeod Athletic Park, Nathan returns to the B.C. Track and Field Championships, running in the 1,500-metre and â€“ for the first time on a provincial level â€“ the 3,000-metre.
The past two years, he placed 7th and 9th in the 1,500, but heâ€™s confident this time around â€“ perhaps almost confident enough to beat his brotherâ€™s second-place provincial finish from 2013.
â€œIâ€™m actually really happy,â€ said Nathan. â€œTrainingâ€™s been going well. Iâ€™m feeling really good going into B.C.s. Iâ€™m not sure how fast I can run, but the B.C.s will be a good indicator.â€