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Triathletes Run, Roll and Swim for Kids In Crisis

Thomas McWalters of Hartford was the overall winner and New York's Brigitte Paulick was the female champion at the fourth annual Stamford KIC IT Triathlon on a glorious Sunday morning.

The biggest winner, however, was Kids in Crisis , Connecticut's only free, round-the-clock emergency shelter and crisis counseling center for children 17 and under.

The 527 registered tri-athletes and about 350 volunteers combined teamed up to raise an estimated $180,000 for Kids in Crisis, event director Shari Shapiro said.

"I'm on Cloud 9," Shapiro said. "It could not have been a more perfect day. People are just overjoyed and happy to be a part of this event."

The race has grown so much in the last few years that it included about 70 youngsters aged 7-13 participating in the inaugural Stamford KIC IT Kids Triathlon on Saturday at Cove Island Beach.

The adult triathlon has become a signature event for the City of Stamford. It included a Family Festival with fun activities for the youngsters and live music. Mayor Michael Pavia was on hand to praise the organizers, volunteers and tri-athletes.

"This is our main event in that it also increases awareness [for Kids in Crisis]," Shapiro said. "This involves more people than everything else we do. It really showcases Stamford and makes me, as a native, really proud."

The triathlon began in the waters of Long Island Sound off Cummings Beach. The opening leg was a 1.5-kilometer (0.9 mile) swim, followed by a 40K (24.8 mile) bicycle ride that began in the Shippan area before winding its way north to the middle parts of the city. The final leg was a 10K (6.2 mile) run that finished at Columbus Park in downtown Stamford.

McWalters, 29, won with a time of 2:01:39. His split times included 22:55 for the swim, 1:02:32 on the bike and 33:11 for his run, in addition to a few minutes in the two transition areas.

Boston's Nathan Buttrick, 31, was the runner-up, finishing 1 minute and 7 seconds behind McWalters at 2:02:46. Andrew Kelley, 28, from New York placed third in 2:03:14.

Jonathan Baxendale from Riverside was the top finisher from Fairfield County and fourth overall with a 2:05:00. Mitch West of Wilton rounded out the top five with a 2:06:44.

The seven other Fairfield County residents who placed in the top 25 included Adam Daniels (seventh, 2:10:26), Daniel Conroy (11th, 2:13:15) and Guido Zgraggen (12th, 2:13:43) of Stamford, Danbury's Mixamino Veiga (13th, 2:14:21), George Bouloukos (18th, 2:17:28) and MacIej Paluchniak (21st, 2:18:35) of Stamford, and New Canaan's Brendan McEwan (25th, 2:21:26).

Paulick, 34, placed 44th overall with a 2:24:42. Deirdre Dilworth, 37, from White Plains, was the runner-up woman and 59th overall with a 2:28:20.

Laurie Brannigan, 43, from Westport was the fastest woman in the county, third among all women and 61st overall with her time of 2:28:26. Complete results are available online .

“My day is fantastic,” said Norwalk’s Bob Dixon, 60, who placed 216th with a 2:50:34. “This is my fourth time doing this event. I’ve done all four of them. We are a big family doing fundraising for this. I think we might’ve been the biggest fundraisers. Our goal is to make sure everybody in Fairfield County is aware of Kids in Crisis. No family is immune from crisis. They really do a great job with this event.”

Did you compete in Sunday's triathlon? How did you do? Start the discussion below!

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