Brandon Hudgins joins our Elite Team of ambassadors as a member of our Track Running group. His passion for the sport of Track and Field overflows and shows in his desire to elevate the sport to new levels. He believes Track Athletes need more opportunities to become ambassadors to companies and at the same time help fund their desire to compete. We are pleased and honored to help Brandon in this capacity.
Brandon claims, “My goal as an athlete is to inspire people to chase their dreams, regardless of the circumstances life has handed them. My journey with running has been as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. I believe that I have a unique opportunity as an elite athlete to inspire others to chase their dreams in all walks of life.” He most certainly is in a very a unique position to offer this statement.
In 2008 at the age of 21, Brandon was diagnosed and suffers from a rare Vasculitis disease called Granulomatosis with Polyangitis (formerly Wegener’s Granulomatosis). This rare auto-immune disease affects about 1 in 25,000 people. All of his health battles, have also given him the gifts of anxiety and depression to work through as well.
Since being diagnosed and his continued battle with the disease, he is now in the position to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials at 1500-meter distance.
“I really feel like I have a story that people in all walks of life can relate to.” In April of 2016, Brandon was highlighted by the Vasculitis Foundation and their Victory over Vasculitis Campaign. His goal is two-fold, to raise awareness about Vasculitis and to help raise Track and Field to a mainstream sport again.
Originally from Rock Hill, SC, Brandon attended Northwestern High School. From there he went on to earn a degree in Exercise Science at Winthrop University. While attending Winthrop Brandon set school records in both the mile and 800-meter distances.
Following his education at Winthrop, Brandon attended Appalachian State University in a graduate Exercise Science program. Of course Brandon achieved the top-5 school records in distances ranging from 800-meter to the mile.
While he experienced some setbacks in 2015, it marked at least 2 years away from hard core chemotherapy drugs and other immuno-suppressive drugs. These drugs greatly hinder athletic performance. However, the hiatus from the drugs made 2015 a break out year for Brandon. In August he became the 448th American to break the 4-minute mile barrier at the Sir Walter Miler in Raleigh, NC.
Brandon at age 29 feels like he is 19 again. The last few years of good health have really given him a new life as an athlete. Brandon also enjoys music. Whether he is just enjoying his down time or the unfortunate times he deals with his disease, music provides a soothing comfort.
You can read more about the meaning of Brandon’s tattoo by visiting here and reading his blog.
Someone said you can describe Brandon this way, “a survivor, an inspiration and one heck of a runner”, we at Cocoa Elite couldn’t agree more. It is clear that Brandon will continue to make his mark on the athletic community. We are completely honored to add him to the COCOA ELITE team of ambassadors.