Estwaniks set for Boston Marathon debut
Chris and Ashley Estwanik have dominated the local road running scene in recent memory.
Now the husband and wife duo will be looking to make their mark in the Boston Marathon.
The local runners will be among those making their debut in the popular event, which takes place next Monday.
The occasion will mark only the second time the Estwaniks have competed in a 26.2 road race. They had planned to run in last year’s New York Marathon and were among 55 hopefuls from Bermuda already in the city when the race was cancelled in the wake of superstorm Sandy.
Chris, who finished second behind Zambia’s Jordan Chipangama in this year’s HSBC Bermuda Half-Marathon in a personal best and Bermuda record time of 1:06.35, has high expectations going into the race.
“My goal is to take down a couple of professional guys and try to keep up with them as long as I can and get pulled to a good time,” he said. “There will be no shortage of people to chase at the Boston Marathon because this is the first big one since the Olympics. I think there’s about 45-50 professionals and probably half of them are coming off the Olympics, so it will be fun to go mix it up with the big boys.”
The former track runner has logged many miles on Bermuda’s roads in preparation for the big occasion.
“I’ve tried to put in as much miles as I can because the guys I’m trying to keep up with are doing 140-160 a week,” he said. “I’ve kept it between 85-90 on average over the last seven or eight months, so it’s been a long grind.”
The five-time Bermuda Day Half Marathon champ’s fastest time in the marathon stands at 2:24.30 which he achieved in Virginia last year.
Estwanik’s wife, Ashley, will travel to Boston with the aim of lowering her personal best time in the marathon.
“My main goal is to have a two at the beginning of my time, so even if it’s a 2:59.59 I will be satisfied being under three hours,” she said. “Last year at Virginia Beach I ran just over three hours and that killed me to be just over a second per mile under that three hour barrier.”
The Island’s top female runner has pushed herself to the limit in preparation for the race to enhance her chances of lowering her time over the distance.
“I’ve trained a lot harder this time and I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. “I'm hoping for some pleasant weather and hopefully I will be able to get under that three hour barrier.”
Ashley’s training partner, Rose-Anna Hoey, is also among the 16 local runners competing in this year’s Boston Marathon.
“I’ve been training a lot with Rose-Anna and she has been a big inspiration for me,” Ashley said. “She’s so positive and a really, really big help and I think we’ve boosted each other’s confidence for this race.”
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