Estwanik sets world ‘running in suit’ record

  • Crossing the line: a TV image of Chris Estwanik
  • Island group: Chris Estwanik, second from the right, shortly after finishing the United Airlines New York City Half-Marathon wearing a business suit. He is pictured with fellow Bermuda runners Jonas Muir Wood, Mike Schindel, Aaron Garcia and Raquel Louriero (Photograph supplied)

Chris Estwanik ran a half-marathon in a business suit yesterday, almost seven minutes quicker than the current Guinness World Record.

He wore the suit for fun after a casual suggestion by two running friends, and crossed the finish line of the United Airlines New York City Half-Marathon in 1hr 11min 36sec.

The Guinness World Record for the fastest half-marathon in a suit is 1:18:13, set last year by Britain’s Scott Forbes. That record will transfer to Estwanik if it is ratified by the Guinness organisation.

Fellow Bermuda athletes Ryan Wilson and Corey Brunton, who also ran in yesterday’s race, came up with the suit idea.

“They were joking around and suggested I should do this,” said Estwanik.

“It was fun to do something different. I bought the suit here.”

On a relatively cold day in Manhattan, Estwanik caught the eye of spectators as he raced around the course in his suit and tie. Many called out in support, some even asked if he was late for a meeting.

“Everyone was loving it.”

However, wearing a business suit cramped his running style a little.

“There was wind, the suit added more weight and I could not move my body as freely,” he said.

He crossed the finish line near Wall Street about seven minutes outside his best for the 13.1-mile distance and was immediately interviewed on TV by Meb Keflezigbi, the former Boston and New York City Marathon champion. Estwanik told The Royal Gazette he had enjoyed the race and the course, which wound around Central Park before heading downtown.

He said there was plenty of mutual support among the large contingent of competitors and spectators from Bermuda, thought to have numbered at least fifty. The overall race winner was Feyisa Lilesa, of Ethiopia, in 1:00:04. First woman was American Molly Huddle in 1:08:19.

It was estimated that about 20,000 people took part in the event.