RYE, N.Y. - As Cynthia Gurmezamo began the bicycling leg of the Jarden Westchester Triathalon in Rye Sunday morning, her daughter Anat, 2, bolted into the pathway excited to see her mother doing her 12th triathalon.
Cynthia's neice ran after Anat to get her out of the way of the oncoming bicyclists. The 40-year-old mother of two paused to watch her daughter return safely to the sidelines, then proceeded with the triathalon.
"It's really a lifestyle," said Cynthia's husband, Meir Suissa, now holding Anat. "She keeps doing it and I don't see her stopping anytime soon."
Cynthia, who was diagnosed with Hodgins Lymphoma, rode for Team In Training , an organization that raises money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by particpating in triathalons and similar events. Meir said his wife has raised more than $12,000 this year.
Of the approximately 1,500 who signed up for the Jarden Westchester Triathalon, 101 swam, biked and ran for Team In Training.
Nationally, the organization has raised about $1.3 billion for cancer research. In exchange, it trains participants, like Cynthia, for four to five months do events like the Jarden Westchester Triathalon, which took athletes through Rye, Port Chester, Harrison, White Plains, Purchase, North Castle and Greenwhich, Conn.
"You're never alone doing it," said Jincy Thomas, campaign coordinator for Team In Training. "You're always on a team."
The Jarden Westchester Triathalon has been raced in Rye for 28 years. For a second consecutive year, Jordan Jones, of Colorado, finished the race first.
Beginning at 7 a.m. athletes swam nine-tenths of a mile in the Long Island Sound, then biked 25 miles and finally ran 6.2 miles through the streets of Rye, concluding in Rye Town Park. There, famillies, friends and, of course, the Rye High School cheerleading team awaited the athletes with spirited congratulations.
Post-race festivities included an awards ceremony, massages for the athletes, food, beer and music.