GB’s Marc Middleton Comes Off 40-Year Layoff to Take Bronze at USA Masters Track and Field Championships


The Growing Bolder Founder and CEO also holds national championships and world records in Masters Swimming

Just months after winning two individual national championships in U.S. Masters Swimming and setting three world records with his BluFrog swimming teammates, Marc Middleton has placed third in the 2012 USA Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships in Bloomington, Indiana, in the 60-meter hurdles.

Competing in the men’s 60-64 age group, Middleton (right, below) finished behind Thaddeus Wilson (center), the world record holder and defending world champion in the 100-meter hurdles, and Jim Broun (left), a three-time world champion in the event.

Middleton only started training for the hurdles, one of sport’s most technical events, in the fall of 2011 after a 40-year layoff. He achieved his goal of making it to the podium in the National Championships within a year.

“My last track meet was in 1972, so I was more worried about tearing a hamstring than winning a medal,” Middleton says. “I’ve followed Thaddeus and Jim online for more than a year and to actually compete in the finals against them was a thrill.”

Middleton now turns his attention back to swimming for next month’s U.S. Masters National Short Course Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. He came off a 38-year layoff in swimming two years ago and had a successful 2011, posting the fastest time in the world in his age group in three events, winning two national titles, and setting three world relay records. (See the video of the world record swim below)

Middleton is the Founder and CEO of Growing Bolder, a national media group producing inspirational programming for television, radio and the Web. Growing Bolder programs highlight ordinary people living extraordinary lives by pursuing their passions with a belief that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.

In addition, Growing Bolder is currently producing two 60-minute TV specials: one to be hosted by three-time Olympic champion Rowdy Gaines called “Masters Sports: The Fountain of Youth,” and the other to be hosted by cancer survivor and former TV news anchor Wendy Chioji called “Surviving and Thriving.”

Middleton’s comeback and that of many others featured on Growing Bolder has inspired him to begin writing a book called The Art of the Comeback.

“The book will share the stories of men and women of all ages who have orchestrated successful comebacks from health crises, unemployment, battles with disease, failed relationships and more,” says Middleton. “The keys to success are the same in every case. You have to be fearless, strategic, patient and dedicated. And mostly you have to believe.”