Participants Tri Hard at the Kiwanis Triathlon

After passing his family, this man is all smiles as he makes his way to the end of the bike route.

The sun sparkled on the water and the breeze ruffled the fresh fall leaves. It was the perfect day for families from towns all over Connecticut and New York to come together to participate in this ½ mile swim, 5.5-mile bike, and 2.2 mile run triathlon.

The Kiwanis Triathlon took place at Compo Beach on Sun., Sept. 15 at 7:30 a.m and started with the swimming portion.

Ages of those who raced ranged from 9 to 68. Athletes could either run by themselves or as a relay with two others.

The winner of the overall race was NYU Professor Shane Meehan, age 44, with a time of 38:05.

For the relay team that placed second with a time of 43:49, Kim Driscoll of Fairfield, Aili Dibonabentura of Newtown, and Diane Benke of Wesport, being a team was the best part.

“The advantage of doing a relay is that you can just hammer your one thing,” Dibonabentura said. “You don’t have to think about saving energy.”

One athlete who decided to do everything by herself is Staples Physical Education Teacher Janet Zamary. The best part of this triathlon, Zamary said, was that her 18-year-old daughter did it with her. Another aspect of the race that Zamary finds important is setting and obtaining a goal.

“It’s just good to set a goal for yourself so you’re always staying in shape for something in the future,” Zamary said. “If you don’t set a goal to do something, you have too many excuses not to do things,” she added.

Even those who came solely as spectators enjoyed the event just as much.  Little kids held signs that read “#1 Dad” and athletes sported shirts with sayings like, “Watch your back” and “Tri Harder.”

Clair Benmosche, who was cheering on her husband with her two children, said she feels so proud of everyone who participated and enjoyed rooting on not only her husband but everyone.

“I couldn’t do half of it I don’t think,” Benmosche said. “It was really inspiring.”

Her children were decked out in turtle costumes to show spirit for their dad.

“I think they had a great time, too,” Benmosche said. “Who else dresses up like a turtle for a triathlon, right?” she added.