Raised in Vancouver, William ‘Bill’ Chandler specialized in middle and long distance events and was virtually unbeatable for a number of years. He was a contender for both the 1908 and the 1912 Canadian Olympic teams, but business commitments prevented him from attending. Later in life, Chandler and his son both competing successfully in the sport of rifle shooting.
Chandler won the Daily Province newspaper’s Marathon Challenge Cup in 1906 and 1907. In 1907, he won the Pacific Northwest Association Marathon (fifteen miles) in Seattle with a time of one hour thirty-three minutes and four seconds. He also won the 1907 Vancouver Marathon (ten miles) at a BC championship track and field meet sponsored by the Vancouver Athletic Association, with a time of 51 minutes 44.4 seconds. He captured the first annual open road race, “The Gold Seal Race” (7.8 miles) to become BC champion in 1908. He would go on to win the event in 1909 over a distance of 11.33 miles, and again in 1912.
He also won the 1909 PNA Marathon in Seattle–the first full marathon run in the northwest–with a time of three hours 43 minutes 16.4 seconds. He set a new Canadian record, for the five-mile distance in 26 minutes 37.6 seconds in 1913 at the Amateur Athletics Union’s first west coast meet, becoming the national middle distance champion. Finally, he competed as one of the PNA All-Stars in the Portola Festival in San Francisco in 1913.