Estwanik claims sixth Bacardi title
Chris Estwanik and Gayle Lindsay topped the podium in the Bacardi 8K yesterday, adding to the number of titles they have won during the road race’s 13-year history.
Also in the field of 208 finishers was reigning Commonwealth Games triathlon champion Flora Duffy, who had returned home to run with family members.
At the sharp end of the race, Estwanik, 39, broke clear of the chasing group within the opening mile and remained untroubled as he stretched his advantage. He finished in 26min 27sec to claim his sixth title in the Bacardi 8K event. He set the course record of 24:46 in 2011.
“I wanted to run a steady pace. The last few races I’ve gone out hard and hung on,” he said, referring to sub-16min wins in two 5Ks during the past fortnight.
“This was one of the longest distances I’ve run in a while. The humidity was high, and it was eight years and 15 pounds ago since I ran two minutes faster on this course.
“I kept in a rhythm where I felt it was the type of pace I could hold for a ten miler.”
He went out hard and then aimed to maintain a 5:15 mile pace. He appreciated the opportunity to test himself at a distance roughly two miles beyond a 5K.
“You can fake a 5K, but if you get in to a five miler or longer and you don’t have the base training, it can show.”
Spencer Butterfield was runner-up in 28:49, followed by Cody Lima in 29:26.
Among the women, Lindsay secured her third win in four years, and joins Victoria Fiddick and Ashley Estwanik as the most prolific women’s winners in the event with three titles apiece.
However, before the race she was anticipating a struggle to get on the podium, such was the quality of the competition that included two-times champion Rose-Anna Hoey, who won last year.
“I thought Rose-Anna was going to go out hard and strong, so I was almost resigned to getting in behind her and seeing how long I could stay with her,” Lindsay, 31, said.
“Our first kilometre was pretty fast, we went through in 3:50. I pulled back a little, then I felt her slow on the hill up from Spanish Point. I knew if I was going to make a break, it had to be at that point.”
On Berkeley Road she checked behind and saw eventual runner-up Maddie Durkin not far away.
“With her cycling and swimming in the triathlon, she is strong. She’s one to watch out for.”
Lindsay, 31, won in 33:19, followed by Durkin in 33:36 and Hoey in 33:55. Among the other runners was Duffy, five-times and reigning Xterra Triathlon world champion, and a two-times ITU Triathlon world champion.
Lindsay said: “I saw Flora had signed up and I wondered if she was going to win the whole thing and beat all the men.
“It would be good to see what she can do if she went all out. It’s nice that she came out and supported the race.”
Duffy, 32, treated the event as a fun outing. Her parents Charles and Maria Duffy, and her brother Joel Duffy, were also taking part, as was her husband Dan Hugo.
She said: “My plan was never to run fast. All my family ran, and my husband.
“We were just going to run with my brother Joel, but we took it out [too] fast, and then when he fell off the pace around Berkeley Hill I just decided, okay, maybe I’ll just run a little bit quicker.”
Duffy’s parents, brother and her husband finished in a compact group with times that ranged from 41:27 to 41:46, while she finished 33rd overall in 37:03.
She said it was “not really fast in my world, but it was nice. It’s nice to be out here racing in the community”.
Duffy is currently in her “off-season” and has taken three weeks off from serious training.
She said: “From here I will build back into training and hopefully I will have a solid winter, so that I’m all set for next year.”
In the 8K walk, the winner was Carol Redahan in 58:48, followed by Joseph Matthew in 59:12, and Louise Charleson in 59:56. Other age division winners in the 8K, among the men were: D Sculley (masters) 31:53; Derek Thomas (senior masters) 35:50; Frederick Steede (over-60) 37:30. Among the women, other age division winners were: Deon Breary (masters) 34:55; Karen Smith (senior masters) 35:04; Maria Duffy (over-60) 41:34.
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