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Top Triathlete Hits the Road on Thanksgiving

GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich’s Joan Lynch finds her competitive outlet during the summer, when she is one of the region's top age-group triathletes. Thursday’s 5-mile road race that begins at the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club in Southport is far less intense.

Lynch will run in the race for the fourth straight year with her children, Ryan, 11, and Meghan, 8. While triathlons are all about competition, the Thanksgiving Day jaunt is about family, friends and fun.

“It’s so much in the spirit of the day,’’ Lynch said. “It’s good exercise before the day really begins. We tailgate after the race, even if it’s raining. We’ve done it under the hatchback of a car in the rain.”

Lynch, who ran the New York City Marathon this year, won her age group earlier this year at triathlons in Norwalk, Westport and Stamford. She was also second in her age group at the Westchester Triathlon last year, and won her age group in the 2-mile Island Beach Swim in Greenwich in July. Her swimming background from high school and college helps her in the triathlons.

“I love to run,’’ Lynch said. “I just place better if there’s swimming and biking involved. I could never place in this race. It has so many good runners.”

That’s fine with her, too. She enjoys running the race with Meghan while Ryan runs ahead. “I really enjoy running with the kids,’’ Lynch said. “I think it’s so good for them. It’s entirely up to them if they want to run it. They like to be in the race. They much prefer running over watching from the sidelines. There’s a walk [2.7 miles] they could do, but they have no interest in that.”

Lynch’s brother, Westport resident Ron Carter, has been running the race for years with a bunch of his neighbors. Now Lynch and her children have become participants as well. For them, it has become all things Thanksgiving: family, fun and food – following fitness.

“For me, it’s not really competitive at all, ‘Lynch said. “We just have a great time. It’s more of a social thing.”

Registration is capped at 7,500 for the race. Runners can register at the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club through Wednesday night from 7 to 9 p.m. Race day registration begins at 6:30 a.m. More information is available on the race website .

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