Ottawa's Jason Dunkerley defies harsh conditions to place in Boston Marathon
Visually impaired runner came out of retirement last year
Braving howling winds, unseasonable cold and lashing rain, Ottawa runner Jason Dunkerley finished third among visually impaired men competing in the Boston Marathon on Monday, his first time taking part in the prestigious race.
"I think it's one of the coldest races I've done, for sure," Dunkerley told CBC News by phone after the race.
Dunkerley finished third in the men's visually impaired division with a time of 3:13:58. He was hoping to finish around 2:40 but the wet weather proved a difficult challenge for him and his guide, Rejean Chiasson.
Ecuador's Luis Calo finished first at 2:48:01 followed by American runner Charles Davis at 2:56:22. Christopher White of Ontario finished fourth with a time of 3:26:11.
These are your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BostonMarathon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BostonMarathon</a> conditions today<br><br>Elite women start in 1 hour <a href="https://t.co/i115o9ZYyB">pic.twitter.com/i115o9ZYyB</a>—@Phil_Sports
"It was cold and there was headwind most of the way coupled with the rain. Rejean and I were just pretty cold much of the way through. When you get cold like that and you're running you kind of just tighten up and things don't work as well," Dunkerley said.
"It affects your overall race. Definitely, in a marathon it can have a pretty big effect."
He was among the crowd of 30,000 runners who braved temperatures around 3 C on the 42.2-kilometre trek from Hopkinton, Mass., to Copley Square in central Boston.
It's not the first time the five-time Paralympian has run his way to stardom in extreme weather. Dunkerley endured overwhelming heat to finish second in the T11 5,000-metre race in 2015. After competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he placed fifth in the men's 1,500-metre T11, Dunkerley retired from running.
It didn't last very long. He laced up again and took home the silver in last year's 1,500-metre race at the World Para Athletics Championships in England.
On his way to pick up his medal in Boston on Tuesday, the star athlete said he plans to continue running through the summer.
Krista DuChene of Brantford, Ont., was the third woman to cross the finish line Monday with a time of 2:44:20, taking home $40,000 US for her efforts.