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Norwalk, Easton Athletes Pace Field in Greenwich

GREENWICH, Conn. – Two of the world’s top age group endurance athletes paced the field Sunday in the Volvo of Stamford Greenwich Cup Biathlon at Tod’s Point.

Eneas Freyre of Norwalk and Chris Thomas of Easton finished 1-2 in a field of nearly 200 in the 2.5 mile run, 10 mile bike and 2.5 mile run. Freyre finished in 47:10, followed by Thomas in 50:58. David Ellis finished third in 52:05.

Cassandra Maximenko won the women’s division in 57:30, followed by Hannah Goodrik of Darien in 1:03:44 and Karen Newman of Old Greenwich in 1:04:04

Freyre, who won the 35-39 age group at the Duathlon National Championships last year, pulled away with a strong ride on the bike. He led wire-to-wire, taking a lead of about 30 seconds on the first run before opening up a huge three-minute gap on the bike. Ellis passed Thomas on the bike, but Thomas passed him back on the final run.

“That’s always sort of MO,’’ Freyre said. “I like to have a real strong ride on the bike and put the hammer down.” Freyre’s winning time was nearly six minutes faster than last year’s winning time of 52:10 by Wilton’s Mitch West. Race director Mickey Yardis said he believes it is a course record for Freyre, a native of Greenwich.

The race was the first of the season for Thomas as he pursues another invitation to the Ironman World Championships later this year in Hawaii. He finished eighth among 260 athletes in his age group at last year’s Ironman.

Maximenko of Naugatuck finished second in last year’s race. She finished second last year to Wilton’s Katie Bottini. “I was surprised I felt so fast,’’ Maximenko said. “I haven’t been doing a lot of speed work.” Maximenko is pointing toward a half Ironman competition in June that is a world qualifier.

“There were a lot of good men athletes in the field and they were pushing me,’’ Maximenko said. “Some men don’t like to be beaten by women. I had good competition.”

The race was the second in the popular Greenwich Cup series run by Yardis’ Threads and Treads store in Greenwich. The next race is the Jim Fixx Memorial Day run on May 28.

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