05/06/2021   XXXIV Cantones de La Coruna Sergio Vazquez: Victories of Sandra Lorena Arenas and Diego Garcia




A beautiful edition that of 2021, after unfortunately a year of rest, of the Cantones de la Coruna now in its 34th edition on the most popular course for the athletes.
Thanks to the health regulations of the pandemic that do not allow more than many athletes at the start, the organizers opted for the most normal choice (and in our opinion the most logical and most beautiful): that of competing first in the women's race (17:30) and then that of the men (19:00).
We found the system used to keep the distance between the athletes before the start very interesting with large yellow stickers on the road surface.


A wonderful initiative of the organizers: in addition to the memory of Jordi Llopart in the general image of this year 2021, on the start / finish arc there are the names of all the winners of the test during the previous 33 editions.
There are practically everyone who has been great in the world march for the past 35-40 years, Olympic, world, European, world record champions.


20km women
The sun is still high over the Cantones and it is quite hot.
For this reason, there will therefore be no expectation of a result like that of 2019 when Glenda Morejon defeated the Chinese battleship (Yang Jiayu, Liu Hong, Qieyang Shenjie)
The start race takes place at a moderate pace, the first 2 km covered in 8:55 with 12 athletes in the leading group.
Ecuadorians Glenda Morejon and Karla Jaramillo, as well as Brazilian Erica Sena, took the lead in those early stages. The pace increases slightly in the following kilometers and at the 5 km checkpoint (22:13) the leading group was reduced to five members: Glenda Morejon, Erica De Sena, Sandra Lorena Arenas and the Mexican duo of Ilse Guerrero and the champion of the U20 World 10,000m 2018 Alegna Gonzalez.
Halfway through the race the leading group is made up of four athletes and sees Erica de Sena in charce of the pacing duties (42:21).
Behind them are Noelia Vargas Mena (CRC) and Kimberly Garcia passing in 44:59.
While Mariavittoria Becchetti (ITA), who passes in 45:46, came up behind her anxious to put the disqualification of Podebrady behind her soulder who had left the Italian team so bad.
Shortly afterwards Erica De Sena injected a brisker pace into the race, taking the lead at 15km in 1:06:13 and only Sandra Lorena Arenas was able to live with her speed change, following her in 1:06:15.
Glenda Morejon and Alegna Gonzalez lost about 15 seconds.
A kilometer later it became clear to everyone that the winner of the previous year on the Chinese battleship, Glenda Morejon, would not be on the podium, moving up to fourth place 35 "behind the leader (De Sena) and 7" from Alegna Gonzalez.
The key movement of the race comes when there are still 3600m to go, when Arenas who had just reached the De Sena, easily detached his rival to reach the 17th kilometer with eight seconds ahead of the Brazilian. At the bell Sandra Arenas has a solid 21 second lead, while Sena still had 16 seconds over Gonzalez.
Sandra Lorena Arenas (COL) wins in 1:28:23, her third fastest time ever, but the surprises are not over. During the last lap, Alegna Gonzalez, who shows the public a beautiful and textbook gear, joins the Brazilian and overcomes it a few tens of meters before the finish.
Second place to Alegna Gonzalez (MEX) in 1:28:40 (to hear a lot more about her in the coming years).
Third place to Erica De Sena (BRA) in 1:28:44
Fourth Glenda Moerjon (ECU) in 1:29:50
Quinta Noelia Vargas mena (CRC) in 1:30:44
Sixth place to Mariavittoria Becchetti (ITA) in 1:32:03 which avenges quite the disqualification of Podebrady.
On the other hand, the Spanish athletes cannot be radiant that between abandonments (Raquel Gonzalez and Julia Takacs) and disqualification Laura Garcia-caro do not renew Podebrady's good performance.




20km men



The men's race also started very slowly, the first kilometer was covered in 4:17 with the Spaniard Ivan Pajuelo in the lead. The pace increased slightly in the following laps thanks to Ecuadorian Mauricio Arteaga who led with a pace of 4:05/km.
At 5 km Arteaga was still in the lead at 20:30. At an early stage, the main favorites as the Sweden's Perseus Karlstrom and the Spain's Alvaro Martin and Diego Garcia were well covered in the group and foregoing to shine in the top ten.
By halfway point, (40:46) there are still 23 walkers left in the leading group led by Jesus Tadeo Vega (MEX) and Alvaro Martin (ESP).
At three quarters of the race the clock showed 1:00:43 and the group was led by Andres Chocho (ECU), despite having performed and won at the South American Championships six days ago in Guayaquil and had made a very long journey to get here.
A frantic 16th kilometer walked on a 3:50 pace by Perseus Karlstrom (SWE) reduces the leading group to just three: it is Podebrady's podium revenge with Karlstrom, Martin and Garcia. Most hypothesize the same victorious outcome as Karlstrom.

After another relentless lap timed in 3:49, Diego Garcia instead takes the lead with Alvaro Martin and Perseus Karlstrom behind him.
About 1800 meters from the end, Diego Garcia changes pace to leave Martin behind for good and make Karlstropm work a few hundred meters for a quick recovery. It is clear that the match will be resolved after a two-man battle.
Halfway through the final lap, Garcia tries to fire the last few cartridges and manages to gain about ten meters, to the delight of the home crowd. Perseus Karlstrom, who had defeated him twice this year, is incredulous, he tries again and returns, but today is the day of the Spaniard who defeats him in Europe after years of continuous domination. As in 2019 he had to succumb to Yamanishi and Stano today Karlstrom must surrender the scepter to the young Garcia.
A more than joyful Garcia wins at the Iberian finish in 1:19:37 after a final lap of 3:42.
Second place to Perseus Karlstrom (SWE) in 1:19:44
Third place went to Alvaro Martin (ESP) who completed a class podium in 1:19:59.
Fourth place went to Brian Daniel Pintado (ECU) in 1:20:15
Fifth place to Andres Eduardo Olivas Nunez (MEX) in 1:20:24
Sixth place to Callum Wilkinson (GBR) in 1:120:32
(Cover photo thanks to Jorge Blanco, La Coruna - ESP)