Dunfee breaks 34-year-old Canadian race walk record in Australia

Toronto 2015 Pan American Games 20-kilometre race walk champion Evan Dunfee has continued to collect international headlines with a record-breaking performance this weekend.

At the Australian 50km Road Walking Championships in Melbourne on Saturday, Dunfee lowered the Canadian mark in the longer of the two Olympic distances by walking it in three hours, 43 minutes and 45 seconds.

The previous Canadian record was 3:47:48 set on June 20, 1981 by Marcel Jobin, who had raced for Canada at the Olympic Games in Montreal and Los Angeles.

Dunfee won the Australian competition, which included national teammates Benjamin Thorne and Inaki Gomez. Using the race for training, Thorne – the world championship bronze medallist and 20km record holder – dropped out early. Gomez, taking his first shot at the longer walk, finished in 4:04:12.

It’s fair to say Dunfee worked up an appetite:

Dunfee and Gomez had a 1-2 finish at TO2015 in the 20km walk, winning Canada’s first two athletics medals of the Pan Am Games at the time. That result, combined with Thorne’s world bronze, and now Dunfee’s 50km standard concludes a monumental year for the walk in Canada ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games next August.

Editor’s note: Rachel Hannah was officially bumped up to a bronze medal in women’s marathon, over four months after the Pan Am Games due to a disqualification, making her third place finish technically the first Canadian athletics medal of TO2015.