Canada’s Evan Dunfee as he crosses the finish to win the men’s 20km race walk at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Image – Felipe Dana.
Canadian race walker Evan Dunfee claimed victory at the Australian 50-kilometre Road Walking Championships held in Melbourne on Saturday (December 12, 2015).
The 25-year-old had broken the Canadian record by more than three minutes, which had been held by Marcel Jobin in 1981 (3:47:48).
Dunfee took the title with a time of 3:43:45 and was followed closely by Australian Chris Erickson (3:54:10) and Marc Mundel from South Africa (3:54:12), all three breaking records for their respective countries.
The competition was held at Fawkner Park on a two-kilometre loop and Dunfee held an early lead by the time he got to the 10-kilometre mark.
He covered the first half of the race in an astounding time of 1:52:18 and took on the 40-kilometre checkpoint well inside three hours.
The win means he has achieved Canada’s federation qualifying standard for the Rio summer Olympic Games.
In his own race report published for Richmond News, Dunfee said with an amazing course and perfect weather, the championships couldn’t have gone any better.
“The early start promised shade and cool conditions along the two kilometre, tree-lined loop for the first half of the race,” he said.
“I rolled through the first two kilometres feeling great and decided to detach from the group I was walking with to venture off on my own for the remaining 48 kilometres.
“From then on it felt like I was in a bubble; my facial expressions barely wavered as I remained relaxed through 10 kilometres, just under pace for the record.
“Turning my focus inwards on how I was feeling, rather than how I was doing, allowed me to conserve energy in the middle of the race, as it felt as though I turned my conscious mind off.
“Around 30-kilometres, my focus snapped and I started to get excited, now two minutes under record pace, but with still a long way to go.”