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Fecik, Bottini Win Darien Triathlon

Jonathan Fecik won his second triathlon in Fairfield County in as many weeks and Wilton's Katie Bottini won the women's race at Saturday's ITPMan Triathlon in Darien. There were 317 finishers in the race, which began with a half-mile swim at Weed Beach, continued with a 15-mile bike ride and concluded with a 5-mile run.

New Canaan's Eben Jones, a former professional triathlete who was competing for the first time in 10 years, finished second in the men's race, and Brian Murphy of New York finished third. Murphy is a former Darien resident. Michele Wolfson of Rye took second in the women's race and Rose Shabet of Darien took third.

In the men's race, Murphy crossed the finish line first because he started in the wave ahead of Fecik and Jones. Fecik ended up winning in 1:23:19, followed by Jones in 1:24:19. Murphy settled for third in 1:26:49.

"I felt really good in the swim and pretty good on the bike,'' Jones said. "The run I just didn't have the speed. The head was willing but the legs were not. Arguably, I could've gone maybe 20 seconds faster with a little more pain." Jones' splits bear out his assessment. His swim split (11:35) was the fastest of any competitor and his bike (38:18, 23.5 mph) was second best. His run was 32:44, which was 14th.

Murphy seemed poised to win on the streets where he grew up when he crossed the finished line, but he was surpassed by Fecik, who started four minutes later. Murphy finished with the fourth fastest run, 29:53, an average of 5:58 per mile. Though he was third, Murphy bested his effort last year, when he suffered a flat tire on his bike.

Bottini's victory was a breakthrough of sorts. She finished second in three Fairfield County marathons this summer. The additional running distance suited her, as she ran 32:14, which was the 11th best time in the field. Wolfson finished second in 1:35:10, and Shabet took third in 1:41:09.

"I was second coming out of the water and I made up ground on the bike, but I was still second,'' Katie said. "I took the lead about a mile into the run and then I just tried to push as hard as I could. It felt really good." For complete results, go to the race's Web site .

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