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Croton's Toughman Triathlon Welcomes The Hardcore

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Swimming 1.2 miles in the Hudson River, biking 56 miles and then running a half-marathon: all this is just a morning’s work if you want to call yourself a “Toughman.”

More than 600 athletes from Westchester and the tri-state area competed Sunday morning at Croton Point Park in the Fifth Annual Toughman event, which is the equivalent of half of the notorious Ironman race.

When it came to biking the course, “it’s a pretty tough ride,” said Asphalt Green team member Danny Scrafford of New York City. Teammate Ben Lloyd, who placed 21st, agreed biking is always the hardest, “especially wearing a Speedo.”

This year’s Toughman winner was 27-year-old Chris Nocera of Pittsburgh, Penn. who clocked in at 4:05:06. Kristin White, 41, of Manlius was the first female finisher, crossing the line at 4:39:59.

The event also had categories for Clydesdales, military, first responders, parathletes, and relay and corporate teams, as well as a ToughTeen event held simultaneously and a ToughKids event held Saturday.

There was a hearty volunteer presence at the event, and some of them, like Boy Scout Troop 325 of New Rochelle, had been helping out since the event began five years ago. Troop leader Paul Kerwick had his boys set up at a water station two miles in to the run handing out sports drinks, power gels, water and salt tablets. Three of them took part in Saturday’s ToughKids race, he said.

The runners, he said, seem to really appreciate having enthusiastic supporters on the sidelines ready to hand off a glass of water or sports drink.

“Most of them are very happy,” he said. “I hear from runners afterwards that it’s a lot of help.”

And cheering sections were out in force as well: Carla Carter of Pompton Lakes, N.J. and her daughter Darlyn Warner, of Wanaque, N.J., and her partner Linda Lanotte, were there to support Warner’s son Jim, 26.

Warner said her son, a Ph.D. candidate in engineering at Duke University, started running seriously four years ago when he bought himself a book on marathons for Christmas. She said he even taught himself how to swim for the triathlon.

At the finish line, the competitors, joyous but depleted, took advantage of all the free power bars, pizza and water they could stomach, checked out the wares at fitness company booths and socialized at a post-race barbecue.

To sign up to participate in or volunteer at next year’s event, go to the event website.

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