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Easton Triathlete Sets Record With Win In Stamford

STAMFORD, Conn. – Easton’s Chris Thomas made his first race in the KIC It Triathlon in Stamford a record-setting one, even with a slight detour.

Thomas finished Sunday’s race in 1:56:07, erasing the old mark of 1:59:52 set by Tim Snow in 2008. Thomas ran about two-tenths of a mile farther than he was supposed to on his detour. His time was adjusted to reflect the detour. Thomas still won comfortably, as Garen Riedel of New York took second in 2:08:25. Darbi Roberts of New York won the women’s race in 2:15:08.

“I didn’t know what the record was,’’ said Thomas, who owns Personal Training Professionals in Southport and was named the 2011 Triathlete of the Year by Timex. “I figured I’d go after it, but you never know. You can’t take anything for granted.”

Thomas built a big lead early and zipped out to a four-minute lead just a few miles into the 40-kilometer (24.8 mile) bike ride. The race started with a 1.5 kilometer (0.9 mile) swim and ended with a 10k (6.2 mile) run. Thomas led by 10 minutes when he entered the second transition area.

“I loved the course,” Thomas said. “It’s a beautiful swim and the bike course is challenging, but it’s a very fair course.”

Thomas’ victory adds to the appeal of the race for top triathletes who want to gauge themselves against one of the best competitors in the United States. “Having Chris win just adds to the caliber of the elite field,” race director Jon Stellwagen said. “Having Chris come here and win is great for the race, it helps build the brand. Unfortunately he lost a little bit of time, but he’s such a great ambassador for the sport and it was great to have him participate.”

Joseph Kay Turcsanyi of Darien finished third, followed by Greenwich’s Craig Vitale. Stamford’s Daniel Conroy (sixth), Darien’s Ryan Hayes (eighth) and New Canaan’s Nicholas Sykes (ninth) also were runners from Fairfield County who finished in the top 10. Dana Humbert of Stamford was the sixth woman overall. Greenwich's Dawn Newsome (seventh) and Stamford's Martina Costello (eighth) and Laura Unger (ninth) also were in the top 10. Complete results are on the race website .

There were just over 600 contestants in the race, which benefits Cos Cob-based Kids In Crisis. The organization provides a free emergency shelter and a 24-hour counseling center for Fairfield County children and families. The race sold out for the first time in its five-year history. The race started at Cummings Beach and finished at Columbus Park in downtown Stamford. It included a Family Festival with a variety of activities for children. A kids triathlon was held in conjunction with the race on Saturday.

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