Tristian Brown has been drawn to law enforcement as long as he can remember and he finally realized his longtime dream this month, when he was sworn in as a deputy for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

At the age of 21, Brown took his oath last month, but despite his intense focus on becoming a law enforcement officer, he has also made time to pursue some other interests.

Brown became an avid long-distance runner and has completed several marathons and competed in a 24-hour, 100-mile race. He didn't begin running until after high school when a friend of his who ran in ultra-marathons got him interested.

"Never really liked running," Brown said. "But I just thought it was super cool that he could go out and run a hundred miles and do all these super cool things."

Brown took a year off after high school and wasn't doing much, but then decided he needed to change that.

"I was being lazy and didn't really like how I felt I guess, so I took it to a whole other extreme," he said.

He competed in a bodybuilding show in Newport in May 2018 and won first place trophies in Junior Class and Open Body Building and was second in Novice class.

Later that year Tristian, and his younger brother Jaime Brown, signed up for the Newport Marathon and both completed it. Jaime Brown, who is 19 years old, was born with a hole in his heart and had to have open-heart surgery when he was 2 years old. But he recovered nicely, and he was urged by his older brother to run with him.

"(Tristian) could talk me into anything, and it was just the feeling of accomplishment that you get," Jaime Brown said.

"My brother didn't do them as fast or as many miles as I did, but he ran all three marathons," Tristian Brown said proudly.

This year, the two signed up for the Eugene Marathon in April, and shortly after that, they ran in the Newport Marathon again. To top it off, on June 22, they did a 24-hour race near Dexter, east of Eugene.

"My goal was 100 miles but I found that goal was nearly impossible when I got to mile 65, and I was cramping really bad," Tristian Brown said. "We ran 62 miles in 12 hours so we were easily on pace to make 100, but we just fell off."

Tristian Brown still completed 91 miles in that 24-hour period although was somewhat disappointed that he was 9 miles short of the goal. Jaime Brown completed 67 miles.

Tristian Brown did all those activities while working full-time for his dad, going to school full-time taking 20 credits per term and he graduated from the police academy at Umpqua Community College this year.

"I pretty much had no time at all but I made it happen," Tristian Brown said.

"What I'm most proud of is that when the going gets tough, he always finds a way to keep going," Jaime Brown said. "It's brought us closer for sure, going through all of that stuff."

Tristian Brown was an undersized football player at Roseburg High School at 5-foot-5 and 160 pounds, but he not only started on defense, he also earned honorable mention all-league as an outside linebacker for Coach Thurman Bell in the tough Southwest Conference.

Playing football for the legendary coach, he said, gave him a lot of that drive and some valuable life lessons that he carries over into everyday life.

"Oh yeah, 100 percent, because you learn discipline from sports. I think a lot of the discipline I put on myself now came from playing high school sports," he said. "I loved Thurman Bell, I think he was an awesome coach and I think he knew the game of football better than anybody I've ever talked to." 

Jaime Brown was impressed at what his brother accomplished in football.

"The programs all said 5-foot-5 and 160, but he was probably 155, so that's a little guy going against a bunch of big guys," Jaime Brown said.

It was not a surprise to Tristian Brown's parents that he decided to go into law enforcement and they were proud when he was sworn in as a deputy sheriff. His mother, Karrie Brown, said he's always wanted to be a police officer. 

"That was something he always had on his mind, so no, I wasn't surprised," she said.  "Just that he's so disciplined, he has a goal and he goes for it. He's just got that inner-motivation."

Tristian Brown said he'd like to help improve the image of law enforcement officers and he likes the camaraderie that's like what you would have on a football team.

"It's kind of like that brotherhood you have with all your teammates," he said. "It's the same exact thing in law enforcement to the point where people would really take a bullet for you, and I like that aspect in life." 

Tristian Brown has had three weeks of working on policies and procedures at the sheriff's office, and then it will be 15 weeks with a field training officer. After that he will have to attend a 16 week police academy before he can be a solo officer.

Tristian Brown's father has no doubt that he will accomplish what he set out to do.

"He's probably the most self-disciplined guy I've ever known, honestly," said Jerry Brown. "He just wants to be the best at whatever he does. "Always the hardest working guy out there no matter what the endeavor is."

Tristian Brown and his brother plan to keep running, and the next race could be a mind-boggling, ultra-marathon.  

"Our ultimate goal is a 200-mile race eventually," Tristian Brown said. 

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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