Dunfee ‘walks’ to world treadmill record

By Don Fennell

Published 11:22 PDT, Wed April 28, 2021

Last Updated: 3:48 PDT, Mon May 17, 2021

The Tokyo Olympics are still set to go, starting July 23.

After the 2020 Summer Games were called off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes like Richmond race walker Evan Dunfee had to adjust on the fly. Now they’ve again timed their training with the goal of peaking at the “rescheduled” Games, and so having them cancelled a second time would be disappointing.

Yet Dunfee has already made his mark on the world stage this year.

As a departure of sorts from his regular training, Dunfee took up the challenge of setting a world record on the treadmill—the 10K race walk world record to be exact. And last Saturday at one of his favourite training sites, the Richmond Olympic Oval, the 30-year-old achieved the feat by completing the distance in a sizzling 39 minutes and two seconds.

“I’ll take that. I was scared I might not be able to but it was better than I expected,” said Dunfee, who maintained an average speed of 16 kilometres per hour.

The Canadian record holder at 38:53 in the “real” outdoor race walk, Dunfee was joined online by his brother Adam to review the race. He explained to Adam that about halfway through the race it was starting to get a bit tougher, but he felt good about his pace.

Typically during a race, Dunfee said he often “negotiates” with himself, asking questions like “How do I feel? Can I push the pace?” He said that was even more the case on the treadmill.

“You try to settle in and just find a comfortable pace,” he said.

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