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New Race Emerges After Triathlon Is Canceled

DARIEN, Conn. – Options are drying up for Fairfield County triathletes seeking a late summer event. The Fairfield Triathlon was canceled earlier this year, and the ITPMAN Triathlon in Darien bowed out in June.

But there's some good news: The ITP Foundation will have an event Aug. 6 in which athletes can choose to run, to swim or to do both. A children's event also will be held.

This year's triathlon was canceled because of renovation work at Weed Beach, the race's starting point. ITP Foundation Executive Director Jun Watanabe said the park will be closed in late August as work begins. The group sought other venues, Watanabe said, but could not find a suitable location.

"It's certainly unfortunate,'' Watanabe said. "We do have such a good following of athletes that really enjoyed doing the race."

The ITP Foundation still wanted to hold an event this year and will conduct the races in August. One option is a half-mile swim and a 5-mile run, or just one of those. The ITPKids Splash and Dash will be a 100-yard swim and a half-mile run.

"One concern is if we didn't have an event this year, people will forget about us,'' Watanabe said. "That's one of the reasons behind us wanting to put on something. We want to continue to promote ITP awareness."

The triathlon is a major fundraiser for the ITP Foundation, a Darien-based nonprofit whose mission is to increase awareness and improve the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with immune thrombocytopenia purpura. ITP is a serious and rare blood disorder in which the immune system attacks the body's platelets, the agent responsible for blood clotting.

"Triathlon is a sport that continues to grow,'' Watanabe said. "We won't get the registration numbers we would hope to. To make sure in light of our cancellation of the event, we wanted to let everybody know we're still there and that there's a cause worth fighting for."

Complete details about events can be found on the ITP Foundation website .

Does the cancellation of the ITPMan Triathlon impact your training? Start the discussion below!

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