Whitehorse’s David Eikelboom placed second out of a more than 1,300 half-marathoners at the New Balance Fall Classic in Vancouver on Sunday.
He is happy with his finish but was perturbed that a first-timer beat him. For a little while, at least.
“I’m feeling good about it,” said Eikelboom. “When the race started another guy came out with me and in the first kilometre we were talking a little bit. I introduced myself and he was like, ‘I’m Evan. This is my first half marathon.’
“We start running and he’s running well. On the downhills we were kind of even and on the uphills he tended to pull away a little bit.…
“At the end of it we’re chatting a little bit and I was like, ‘Evan, what’s your last name?’ And he goes, ‘Dunfee.’ And I was like, ‘You’re the Olympian race walker. I don’t feel bad anymore. You know what, you ran today and you beat me, and you are an Olympian. I can live with that.’
“It was pretty funny, actually.”
Eikelboom, 30, placed second with a time of one hour, 12 minutes and seven seconds. He beat his previous best of 1:13:42 set at the BMO Vancouver Marathon in 2015.
Dunfee, who placed fourth in the 50-kilometre race walk at the 2016 Summer Olympics setting a new Canadian record, crossed the finish in 1:10:44 on Sunday.
Eikelboom, who placed first in the men’s 30-39 division in the Fall Classic, had a successful season this year. He won his fourth straight Mount Lorne Mis-Adventure Trail Race in July and his second full-distance title at the Yukon River Trail Marathon in August
He also set the second fastest pace out of 1,870 runners and walkers at the Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay in September.
“This was kind of my target race for the year, so most of what I did this year I did with idea it needed to lead up to this,” said Eikelboom. “I’m pretty happy with the outcome. I’m quite thrilled, actually.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org