Estwanik back on the road again
Top runner Chris Estwanik made a return to the local athletic scene in Sunday's Bank of Bermuda Foundation Triathlon in St George's.
The five-time May 24 Derby winner anchored his team — Too Big To Fail — to victory in the Corporate Team Division, covering the 5K run in 15 minutes and 48 seconds.
“Graham (Smith) is amazing swimmer and Mark (Robinson) is an incredible cyclists so I knew I had a good team and just didn't want to screw anything up,” said Estwanik, who led all runners across the finish line in St George's town square.
“I ran a little scared the first mile to see if I could keep the pace going and the knee held really well and I was pleased.”
Estwanik tore a tendon in his right knee last May preparing for his May 24th title defence.
The injury occurred only weeks after the former US track runner placed 21st overall at the ill-fated Boston Marathon in 2:19.55, the fastest time ever by a Bermuda resident, eclipsing the mark set Peter Lever in Detroit in 1972.
Estwanik's time was nearly two minutes shy of the ‘B' Qualifying Standard (2:18.00) for the 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.
Though encouraged with the way his knee held up on the weekend, Estwanik said there was still some way to go before he makes a full recovery.
“I'm not quite back to full training but the body is transitioning to that stage,” he explained. “I'm probably 75 to 80 percent right now so I just have to be smart as I get back into my training.
“The doctors and physiotherapist have been giving me really good advice on that. It's just been one of those tedious injuries but even if it improves half a percent a week I'm still headed in the right direction.”
Estwanik admitted his injury had been a frustrating experience.
“At this stage running for so long is like having a cup of coffee in the morning. Anybody that gives up coffee gets the headaches and so my body was so used to running and then all of a sudden I couldn't do it.
“I was off kilter for a couple of months but that's the way the sport goes and if you push the envelop and train really hard eventually you're body is going to break. Now I know what my limitations are and I will have to train a bit smarter next time.”
As for his immediate plans, Estwanik said: “I'm just really looking forward to getting back into training before I sign up for any races. I may do a couple of the races between here and Christmas just for fun.”