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The chase is on for Estwanik and the ‘bulls’

Top local runner Chris Estwanik will lead the charge at the second annual Validus “Running of the Bulls” 5K race on Sunday.

Inspired by the annual festival held in Pamplona, Spain, which involves running in front of a small group of stampeding bulls, the race applies a unique twist on the daring Spanish tradition.

Rather than be chased down by a pack of angry bulls, participants have to outrun several of the Island’s elite runners who will have a delayed start before trying to catch the rest of the competitors before the finish line.

Five-time May 24 champion Estwanik will join Jay Donawa, Chayce Smith, Stephen Allen and last year’s overall winner Gideon Kigotho in wearing horned headdresses.

While Ashley Estwanik, Karen Smith, Jennifer Alen, Deon Breary, Rose-Anna Hoey and Victoria Fiddick will assume the role of female ‘bulls’.

Participants have the option of choosing the 5K run or walk.

Candace Roach, one of the race directors, said she was hoping for a bumper turnout for the unusual race.

“Obviously we’re hoping for a stellar turnout and anywhere near 500 would be great,” she said. “Last year we had about 300 runners and about 40 walkers, so we’re really trying to promote the walking part of the race as well.”

Roach said the ‘Running of Bulls” 5K was the brainchild of Chris Estwanik, who works for race sponsors Validus Re.

“Chris and his wife Ashley had run several races in the US and one of them was actually a very similar event with people running dressed up as bulls.

“We were looking to do something for Validus as a fundraiser and this idea came up so we ran with it.”

The race was originally scheduled for February 24 but was brought forward so not to clash with the Argus Walk the Walk.

“The decision was made for safety reasons, to avoid overlapping race paths, and for charity reasons, to maximise both races charity fundraising efforts,” added Roach.

Sanctioned by the Bermuda National Athletics Association, the race starts at Chartis Building East parking lot on Richmond Road. The walkers start at 8.30am and runners at 9am.

This year proceeds will go to Beyond Rugby, a programme which helps underprivileged youths, and Mid Atlantic Athletic Club.

For more information, visit www.racedayworld.com or contact race directors Karen Peckett (278-9350) or Candace Roach (278-9344) or e-mail:validus5k@validusre.bm.

Closing the gap: From left to right - Sean Trott, Chris Estwanik, Stephen Allen and Chayce Smith take part in last year's inaugural 'Running of the Bulls' 5K.

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Published February 13, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated February 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm)

The chase is on for Estwanik and the ‘bulls’

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