Brandon Allen runs his way onto Team Canada

 

By Joel Charron

When Brandon Allen hears the national anthem, a new sense of pride rushes through the 17-year-old’s body.

Allen, a students at General Amherst High School and long distance runner for the Windsor Legion Track Club has recently ran his way onto Team Canada after placing sixth overall in the 8K Junior 19 and under race at the Canadian Nationals at Jericho Park Beach, British Columbia last month.

“Running for my country has always been a goal for me,” said Allen. “Words cannot express what it means now that I have achieved something that I’ve worked so hard for.”

Allen said not only did he know he had a chance to earn a spot on Team Canada, he and the Windsor Legion Track Team was also running for a fifth straight team gold medal.

“We knew the potential was there to get gold but we also knew we all had to have our best race,” said Allen.

Allen noted that the feat would be challenging because the team was very young. Allen was being looked upon as being one of the veterans as this was his second time running with Windsor Legion.

“We put everything in the back of our heads,” he said. “We knew the chance was there to make Team Canada but I had to stay focused and treat it as every other race.”

As race time approached Allen grabbed a starting spot in right at the starting line with teammate Ryan Sleman from Kingsville and got out of the gate rather quickly.

Allen said his objective was to get out into the front from the beginning because the course was very muddy.

 

Earning a spot on Team Canada has always been a dream for Brandon Allen.

“I was in the lead group and I just kind of hung in there for the entire race,” explained Allen. “Some guys started dropping, other guys came up that weren’t there before.”

The 5’6” runner said it came down to the final sprint to decide who qualified for Team Canada.

Allen finished the race in 24:56 and was handed a paper when he crossed the finish line telling him he was eligible for Team Canada.

“Right away I knew I was eligible but I didn’t know what place I got because I wasn’t counting the runners in front of me,” he said. “Once I found out I was pretty happy.”

To add to his excitement, his Windsor Legion team captured their fifth straight gold. To celebrate their achievement the team took a dip in the nearby ocean.

“It was freezing cold but we didn’t care, we all just jumped in,” said Allen.

There will be no time for Allen to rest, on Jan. 26 he will travelling to Jamaica to compete in the North America Central America and Caribbean meet (NACAC.)

If Team Canada places in the top two, they will advance to Poland on March 26 to race in the Under 19 World Championships.

“I’m really happy I made the team,” said Allen. “But now I have to focus and keep the training going so I can have a good showing a NACAC’s.”

Windsor Legion teammate and fellow General Amherst Bulldog Matt Pardo said he’s very proud of his teammate and friend.

“I think what’s he’s accomplished is amazing,” said Pardo. “Brandon is on Team Canada and I get to train with him. I think that’s pretty cool.”

Comments are closed.