The Olympics are fast approaching and Canada’s top race walker, Evan Dunfee, is diligently preparing to toe the start line of the 50K race walk in Tokyo this summer. The 30-year-old Olympian decided to have a little fun with his training by attempting to set the treadmill 10K world record on Saturday, and after 39 minutes and two seconds, the record was his.
— Runningdad is also a racewalker! (@NoelPaine) April 24, 2021
Dunfee, who also holds the 10K race walk Canadian record of 38:54, completed the event at the Olympic Oval in Richmond, B.C. Canadian race walk judges watched the attempt via a video link to ensure he was following official race walking rules, which dictate that walkers must have one foot making contact with the ground at all times, and the supporting leg must straighten from the point of contact with the ground and stay straight until the walker’s body passes over it. If the judges see any athletes violating those rules during a race, the athlete is disqualified.
Dunfee’s 39:02 record-setting walk (which he closed with a 3:48 final kilometre) was slower than his Canadian record on the road, but in an interview with the Richmond News prior to Saturday, he said he was not expecting to beat his PB.
“I’m not in the shape that I would have been in for that record. My goal is to get in under 40 minutes,” said Dunfee, who is training for the much longer 50K race walk in Tokyo.
Technically, this is the first time anyone has tried to set a world record in the race walk on a treadmill, so regardless of his result his time would have been a record. Still, less than 40 minutes for 10K is impressively quick, and Dunfee has now set the bar very high for any subsequent record attempts. The world record attempt was broadcast live, but for anyone who missed it, you can watch a replay of Dunfee’s walk on YouTube.