Brandon Allen to run at World Championship after Team Canada places first at NACAC’s

 

By Joel Charron

Brandon Allen’s first stint on Team Canada was a pretty successful one.

On January 26, Allen and his Canadian teammates brought home first place in the North America Central America and Caribbean meet (NACAC) in Jamaica and will head to Poland for the World Championships on March 24.

The 17-year-old ran the hilly two-kilometer course three times in 19:50 and placed 14th out of 34 racers under hot weather conditions.

“I was pretty tired when I crossed the finish line but I had a smile on my face. I was pretty happy with myself,” he said.

Allen said the race started out very quick with the Jamaican runners setting the pace.

“It went out pretty fast but a lot of people died off quickly,” said Allen. “The main competition was from the US but the runners from Mexico were pretty good as well. There were definitely a lot of good runners from all round.”

In the days leading up to the race, Allen said he felt “really good” as he was putting in several good workouts and hitting all of his training time.

“I definitely felt like I was in really good shape,” he said.

 

Brandon Allen ran the 2K course three times in a time of 19;50. He placed 14th overall

Brandon Allen ran the 2K course three times in a time of 19;50. He placed 14th overall

Allen admits he was “feeling a bit rough” after dropping down his mileage a few days before the race, but by the time race day came, he felt everything was back to normal.

A few hours before the race, Simon Bairu, a member of Canada’s senior team sat down with the junior team to let them know what to expect in the race.

“He sat all six of us down and pretty much told us what to expect,” said Allen. “He told us that the race was going to be very aggressive with a lot of elbows. He told us that some guys, typically the guys from Jamaica, are going to go out fast but die off quickly, so don’t go out with them.”

“His talk really helped because a lot of the things he told us about actually happened in the race,” continued Allen.

After the Junior team placed second last year after falling to the United States, Allen said it was “really exciting” to place first.

“We knew the U.S. had a really strong team this year, one of their guys placed second in the race,” Allen explained. “It was really nice to able to beat them.”

Allen said racing for Canada had a different feel than racing for General Amherst or the Windsor Legion Track Club.

“When I’m racing for General Amherst, you think about your school or the town but racing for Team Canada, it’s like the whole country is looking a you,” said Allen. “It makes for a greater experience.”

With a race under his belt wearing the Canadian jersey, Allen said he hopes be more relaxed when he races in Poland.

“Before the race I was really, really, nervous. My teammates were calm and ready to go into the race,” said Allen. “When the world’s come around I want to be more relaxed, obviously the nerves will be there but I want to be more relaxed and ready to race and more confident than I was going into this race.”

Heading into the World Championships in Poland, Allen said he has no expectation for himself and is simply going by the mantra of “what ever happens… happens.”

“I’m going to be putting in a lot of hard training over the next two months and hopefully everything will fall into place,” said Allen.

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