A triathlete and his canine companion were spotted at the front of the pack at the Frosty 5K in Burlington, Ont. on Sunday. Jessey The Elf, who competes in ITU racing at the elite age-group level and in continental cups, and Hunter Buxbaum, together, finished seventh and eighth in a blistering 15:26, believed to be a world best.
The 22-year-old ran with his 14-month-old Hungarian vizsla who is no stranger to road racing. The two ran the Santa Burlington 5K in late December; Hunter “The Runner” Buxbaum made his canine 5K debut on Canada Day at another VRPRO race, an organization which permits the two to race. (Many races do not permit dogs for safety reasons.)
Hitting mid-15s for a 5K translates to approximately 3:05 per kilometre. The duo’s previous best was 16:33 from the aforementioned Santa 5K in Hamilton.
Stride for stride running for the FINISH in an unofficial 15:25!!!!!!! 🏃🏃🏃That is well over a FULL minute off both our PB'S and World Record 16:33 🐶 run at the #santa5kburlington 🎅 in December!!! Super stoked to be running low 15's now! More to come throughout the day! #frosty5k @vrproinc @nuunhydration @nutrience_ #smashedourgoal #pb #personalbest #subzero #sub16minute5k #suchaprouddaddy #huntertherunner #triathlete #burlington
🐶 #huntertherunner 🐕 and #jesseytheelf 🎅 would just like to thank ALL OF YOU for your incredible support in today's #frosty5k ❄❄❄❄❄ whether it was "liking" 👍 "loving" ❤ or commenting on social media, cheering us on the course 🏃🏃🏃 volunteering or at the finish we felt your support and crushed today's race!!! Of the 925.3 seconds we spent running 5000m – the longest stretch without anyone yelling "go Jessey! Go Hunter! Go ELF! Or go doggy go!" Might have been only 15 seconds! So a HUGE thanks and we have lowered our man-dog 5k run WORLD RECORD 🏃 #worldrecordholder to a blistering 15:26 (Hunter's time) 🌶🌶🌶 #thankyou
Hunter’s training in the leadup to race day consisted of 282K for the month of February. Jessey The Elf, who notes that he legally changed his name and had his ears pointed in 2015, and his partner Tim Buxbaum, who is a marathoner himself, got the Hungarian vizsla one year ago in March. The canine began running when he was five months old. Vizslas, he says, are an all-around good running breed.
“People actually ask a lot if he is faster or if I have to wait for him,” he says. “Sprints? Hands down he can beat me in 800m and less. [But] 1K and up I can beat him; in a 5K [he] usually pulls me the first 2.5K and then I have to tug him a little the last 2.5K.”
Those on course may have noticed that the runner was wearing two race bibs, one for himself as well as one for Hunter. The medium-sized canine, who was appropriately listed in the men’s 0-1 age category, runs by Jessey’s side thanks to a leash designed for running. The family resides in Waterdown, Ont.
According to his Instagram account, Elf is currently targeting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as a triathlete.
This story originally appeared on runningmagazine.ca