Getting up at dawn every day in January and walking 30 kilometres, without a definitive goal, would be challenging for even the most motivated of athletes.
But that’s just how Richmond’s Olympic racewalker, Evan Dunfee, was feeling near the end of 2020, training in all weathers with the prospect of the rearranged Japan Games taking place this summer looking slimmer by the day.
Throw in the fact that he’s normally in the significantly warmer climes of Australia this month, training with fellow competitors, and you can see how putting one foot in front of the other lacks appeal.
So now, the Richmond athlete, who has already qualified for the Games in Tokyo (should they proceed), has been aiming to raise $10 for every kilometre he walks this month, with a $6,000 target from his regular 600K monthly ground coverage.
“Knowing that me getting out the door in the rain is not only what I need to do to be ready to represent myself and Canada…, but also the idea that it is helping raise money so more kids can experience sport, is that extra motivating factor that I really needed,” said Dunfee, who captured the attention of the nation at the Rio Games in 2016, when he sportingly refused to appeal for a possible bronze medal, despite being impeded near the race finish.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Dunfee had raised $5,878.05 of his $6,000 target, with 12 days still to go in the month.
“This has been perfect to keep me going,” added Dunfee.
“I’ve been out there every day and got in another 30K yesterday. A teammate from Quebec is in Vancouver for the month, so I walked from my house at Railway and Granville to False Creek and then out to Stanley Park (which is apparently 30K).”
Dunfee hopped on the train on his return, which is fair enough, considering the walk to Vancouver took about two and half hours.
To donate to Dunfee’s cause, go to https://www.dunfeewalks.com/.
Dunfee told the Richmond News earlier this week that he has no intention of jumping the line to get the COVID-19 vaccine so he can compete in the Olympics, despite that short-cut being suggested by Canadian Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee.