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Western Massachusetts to host new triathlon this weekend

The Connecticut River in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Ryan Caron King
The Connecticut River in Springfield, Massachusetts.

An inuagural Ironman triathlon will take place this Sunday in and around Springfield, Massachusetts.

Participants will swim a little over a mile in the Connecticut River, bike 56 miles through nearby communities then return to Springfield for a 13-mile run.

West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt, who will be taking part, said he likes a challenge and believes the event will boost the local economy.

"I'm in the Ironman western Mass. group on Facebook, and I see folks that are coming up from as south as Philadelphia to participate and stay in our hotel rooms and spend money in our downtown so it's great for the region," he said.

Jorge Lopez is coming from Miami to participate. He's a 52-year-old accountant and said he usually does five triathlons per year. The last was in Lima, Peru in April.

"I usually like to go new places for these races and it was a perfect timing from my last one that I did so that's why I decided to do this one," he said.

Mayor Reichelt said the plan is for the triathlon to return next year and the year after.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.

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