Friends of a professional runner who died during Olympic trials are holding a run in his memory.

Ashley and Chris Estwanik want to remember Ryan Shay, who was one of America's top distance runners, the way he would have wanted them to.

The 28-year-old keen runner died only 5.5miles into the Men's Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City on November 3. He was among the 130-plus athletes who had qualified for the trials in Central Park. Ryan had an enlarged heart but the autopsy proved inconclusive.

Everyone is invited to take part in the island's 5.5 mile memorial run (the distance Ryan ran before he died) on Sunday, December 2. From Astwood Park, runners will proceed west along South Shore, turning around just past The Reefs hotel and returning to Astwood Park.

Ashley, who went to Stanford with Ryan's wife, stressed it was not a competitive event, but a gathering to do what Ryan loved doing "to express our collective solidarity and sympathy." She said: "Many of our friends and the running community have decided to put on non-competitive runs to honour and pay tribute to Ryan."

She added: "Chris and I want to show Alicia and Ryan's family that even here in Bermuda, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, people know who Ryan was and what he accomplished in his short lifetime."

Ryan's wife Alicia wants people "to know who her husband was and what he stood for." A photo will therefore be taken of everyone in Bermuda just before the run starts.

Professional runners Alicia and Ryan met at a party after the 2005 New York Marathon and had been married just four months when Ryan died.

Memorial runs have already been held in Calgary, Alberta, and Eugene, Oregen - and now it's Bermuda's turn.

All participants are invited to meet at the Astwood Park parking lot at 9am on Sunday, December 2.

For further info e-mail ashleycouper@gmail.com or call 737-7866.