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It’s a no go, says Estwanik

For the first time in six years a new men’s champion will be crowned in the Appleby Bermuda Day Half Marathon Derby.

Five-time champion Chris Estwanik made the official call not to defend his title after visiting a specialist late yesterday afternoon to determine if there was any chance of competing with a torn tendon in his right knee during this year’s 13.1 mile event.

Prior to making the final call the American’s dreams of a record six consecutive men’s title hung by a thread after a MRI scan revealed the injury which he suffered during a training run at the weekend.

“It’s a no go,” Estwanik told

The Royal Gazette. “Torn for sure so rest is the name of the game.”

Estwanik has ruled the annual road running spectacle with an iron fist since storming to his maiden victory at the first attempt in 2008 in a record time of 1:08.25 on the remeasured racecourse.

Despite Estwanik’s unavailability, race committee president Gina Tucker anticipates another exciting event this year.

“Chris’ absence makes the race very interesting,” she said. “The contenders are gearing up to put their all into it and it should be very exciting to watch.”

She added: “It’s unfortunate this has happened (Estwanik’s injury) but it is what it is. The race is going to be very exciting without doubt.”

Estwanik’s absence has thrown this year’s race wide open with professional triathlete Tyler Butterfield among the firm favourites to take top honours among the men’s field.

Others expected to be thick in the hunt include Chayce Smith, policeman Stephen Allen and veteran Jay Donawa.

“It will be nice to crown a new champ,” Estwanik said. “The community is great here.”

Last month saw the 33-year old runner achieve a Bermuda best at the ill-fated Boston Marathon.

Estwanik placed 21st overall in a Bermuda record time of 2:19.55, surpassing the previous mark over the 26.2-mile distance set by Peter Lever in Detroit in 1972.

His time was nearly two minutes shy of the ‘B’ Qualifying Standard (2:18.00) for 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

This year’s Boston Marathon was marred by two bomb blasts near the finish line that left three spectators dead and more than 200 others wounded.

Appleby Bermuda Day Half Marathon Derby race committee President Tucker confirmed that some race participants will wear black ribbons as a “show of support” for the victims of the Boston Marathon that made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Ruled out: Chris Estwanik

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Published May 23, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm)

It’s a no go, says Estwanik

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