Brandon Allen smashes personal best at Cross Country World Championships


By Joel Charron


Brandon Allen returned from the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championship in Poland more confident than when he left.

Allen, 17, left for Poland with Team Canada on March 16 and after three connecting flights arrived in Walcz, Poland, where Team Canada held their training camp.

“It was a long day of travelling but we got there in plenty of time for our bodies to recover and adjust,” said Allen.

In the days leading up to the race in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Allen said the training camp was light hearted.

“We took our training seriously but it was all about having fun and getting to know the other guys on the team,” he explained.

However, everyone’s attitude changed the night before the race.

“Everything hit me the night before the race,” stated Allen. “That’s when I started getting focused.”

The morning of the race, Allen said he woke up feeling “pumped up” with a sense of determination and was eager to start the race.

With having run an international race in the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships, Allen said he approached the start line cool, calm and collected.

“I wasn’t really all that nervous,” he said. “I was really focused on what I need to do instead of worrying about all the other aspects of the race. I just knew to take it easy, running in Jamaica really helped me with that.”


Brandon Allen finished the eight kilometre race in 24:05, smashing his  personal best.

Brandon Allen finished the eight kilometre race in 24:05, smashing his
personal best.

The course was a two-kilometer loop, which had to be run four times to complete the eight kilometers.

Allen said the course was “pretty beat up” with a lot of snow, hills and obstacles throughout the course.

“The course was pretty much all mud and wood chips and on the down hill they threw in some sand to probably try and soak up some of the mud,” he said.  “They had a bunch of man made little hills we had to go over and some logs we had to jump over. That was something I wasn’t really used to. It was the first true cross country course I ran.”

Allen said the obstacles didn’t bother him and compared it to training at Malden Park.

Allen crossed the finish line in 74th place in a time of 24:05, destroying his personal best of 24:56 he ran in British Columbia.

Allen noted the course was just shy of eight kilometer and adjusted his time to reflect that.

“Both courses were a little bit short so we added in the extra distance we missed and my time in Poland would have probably been around 24:30 if it were exactly eight kilometers,” he said. “I was pumped that I ran under 25 minutes.”

Allen said it doesn’t matter that he placed 74th, he noted shaving close to 30 second off his personal best is an accomplishment.

“When I tell people I placed 74th it doesn’t hit them as good but when you explain to them your time it’s a lot different,” he said. “I dropped 30 seconds off my time. I’m ecstatic with that.”

Not only did the 17-year-old post a new personal best he beat every racer older than his age.

“I was pretty happy when I saw that,” he said.

If Allen wasn’t determined enough before,  racing on an international level as added more fuel to his fire.

Allen has now set his sights on the Pam-Am Championships held in Columbia in late August.

“You have to be top two in Canada to go,” he said. “I’m focusing on 3000m steeplechase and hopefully I’ll make it for that. I feel like I’ve been working harder than I ever have before.”

Comments are closed.