Estwanik marks return in winning style

  • Race winners: Gayle Lindsay and Chris Estwanik, who respectively won the women’s and men’s title in the David Saul Memorial — Fidelity 5K road race (Photograph by Scott Neil)

    Race winners: Gayle Lindsay and Chris Estwanik, who respectively won the women’s and men’s title in the David Saul Memorial — Fidelity 5K road race (Photograph by Scott Neil)


Chris Estwanik made an impressive return to the local road-racing scene as he finished more than 1½ minutes ahead of his nearest rival in the David Saul Memorial — Fidelity 5K road race today.

Among the women, Gayle Lindsay secured a third-consecutive title, staying ten seconds clear of teenager Daria Desmond.

Estwanik has dominated the island’s running scene for most of the past decade, however, he has competed less frequently in recent years because of injury and recovery. The 5K was his first island race since winning the RenaissanceRe ten-miler in April.

Any concern that he might be a little race-rusty was quickly dispelled as he opened up a 20-metre gap over the chasing pack in the first 30 seconds of the race.

He had taken inspiration from seeing his 8-year-old son Harrison finish first boy and third overall in the junior 1km race, with a time of 4min 34sec.

“I had no plan, I was just going to run hard the first mile. My son ran his one-kilometre in 4:34, so I said I’m going to run my first mile fast and I just came up short. Then I paid the price for it because I ran that first mile so fast,” Estwanik, 39, said. His overall pace was 5:07 per mile.

“But I’m just grateful to be out here. I’d love to build from this and come up with more of a plan. Victoria Fiddick has offered to help me with that — to be smarter with my training.

“Also, I’ve known the Saul family for a long time, and they are awesome, so it is good to come out and support them.”

Looking ahead at possible race appearances, he hopes to compete in the Axa Man on The Run 5K and Bacardi 8K, which take place over the next two weekends.

Estwanik finished in 15:52 and was followed over the line by Spencer Butterfield in 17:26, and Ryan Outerbridge, 16, first in the 10-18 boys’ division in 17:40.

In the women’s race, Lindsay continued her string of successes, which included last month’s PartnerRe 5K title, winning in 19:55. She was pursued by Desmond, Deon Breary and Liana Medeiros, the latter two runners-up in the PartnerRe race. However, it was 13-year-old Desmond who managed to stay in closest contention this time to finish second in 20:05, and first in the 10-18 girls’ division. Breary was third woman overall, and the masters’ division winner, in 20:07.

Lindsay, 31, competed in the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile road race in New York, in September, finishing in 5:20. She hopes to run in the Butterfield Bank Front Street Mile to defend her local women’s title during the Bermuda Triangle Challenge weekend in January.

The 5K was marking its 23rd anniversary and attracted about 300 competitors in the adult race, junior race, and walk. The race became known as the David Saul Memorial — Fidelity 5K two years ago in honour of Dr Saul, the former premier and national record-setting road runner who died in 2017.

The event also raised funds for the Neil Burnie Foundation, set up in memory of the late vet who had a passion for the ocean.

It was a close battle in the junior 1K race, with winner Zyari Lawrence, 9, and runner-up Jaylen Lewis, 8, both clocking the same time of 4:27, followed by first boy Harrison Estwanik, 8, in 4:34. The four- to six-year-old age group was won by Ronan Davige, 6, in 4:45, while the first girl was Zara Bule, 6, in 5:36.

The competitive 5K walk was won by Junior Watts in 37:15, from first woman Gilda Cann in 40:47, and Cristy Vente in 42:12.

Among the men’s age division winners in the 5K were: James Roberts (masters) 18:43; Neil de Ste Croix (senior masters) in 18:40; and Kent Richardson (over-60) in 22:22.

Other winners in the women’s age divisions were: Tricia Holbrook (senior master) in 22:31; Maria Duffy (over-60) in 24:57; and Marian Lines (over-70) in 40:55.

• Among runners from Bermuda who competed in Sunday’s New York City Marathon was Manuel Lopes who finished in 3hr 39min 10sec, Anna Laura Hocking 3:39:31; Robert Maycock 3:59:50; Marcallo Ausenda 4:20:23; and Terri Durrant in 4:41:45.

This article has been updated to include results from The New York City Marathon

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Published Nov 3, 2019 at 6:44 pm (Updated Nov 4, 2019 at 11:08 am)

Estwanik marks return in winning style

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