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Sandy Finish Challenges Triathletes

Most triathlons start on a sandy beach, but rarely do they end on it, too. A sold out field of 700 athletes charged into choppy waters at Tod's Point early Sunday morning and crossed the finish line on the sand at the end of an off-road run. The Volvo of Stamford Greenwich Triathlon kicked off the second half of the 10-event Greenwich Cup.

"It's always good when the weather's nice and we have a nice, full field," Matt Yardis, son of the race coordinator, Mickey, said. "This is the 27th time we've been here and everything goes pretty smoothly. I've been here for every one."

The triathlon, organized by Threads and Treads and the Yardis family, featured a half-mile swim through fairly rough waves, a 15-mile bike ride through scenic back roads in Old Greenwich, and finished with an unusual off-road 3-mile run. Megan Kelly of Stamford, who finished second in the women's division, says she was not surprised how full the field was as the popularity of triathlons has exploded in recent years.

"It seems like it's the 'in' thing to do nowadays," Kelly said. "Everyone who I work with is asking me about it, wanting to try one. You don't have to excel in any one sport. I think it's great because there's always one you can do better in."

Shane Meehan, 41, of Manhattan was the overall winner of the triathlon with a time of 1:12:58. Suzie Snyder, formerly of Wallingford, took the top women's spot finishing with a time of 1:13:59. Snyder said she trains on off-road courses, so the run portion and finishing on sand actually worked to her advantage.

"It's a tough way to finish a race, but I like a good challenge," Snyder said. "I don't mind."

For full race results, click here .

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