In closely fought races today, Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley produced solid enough results over the sprint distance world cup of 750 meter swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
In both the male and female events there was little to separate two large groups of athletes coming into T2 and in the end it came down to who had the fastest run.
Erica was well placed after a 9 min 49 secs swim that saw her enter T1 with a large group of athletes. She then matched the pace of the large leading pack to enter T2. Erica’s run time of 18 min 33 secs was respectable but the top 27 competitors all went under 18 mins.
Erica’s finishing time of 1hr 00 mins 24 secs left her just 1 minute off a top ten finish as in this shorter racing there are fine margins between competitors. Overall though the University of Boulder student can take confidence from this race.
Meanwhile Tyler Smith’s race followed a similar pattern, as he too emerged from the water with a large group in a time of 9 mins 09 secs and then rode the 20km in 27 min 22 mins to enter T2 with a large group just 20 secs short of the leading group. Once again the run proved decisive as the winner, David Castro of Spain, ran 14min 31 secs with Tyler clocking 15 min 44 secs to finish in exactly 54 mins overall. Tyler was just over 1 min out of a top 10 finish.
With so many athletes seemingly evenly matched now on the swim and bike, run times are proving crucial and it will take run times of around 17 min 30 secs ( Erica) and 15 mins flat (Tyler) if they are to be in contention for top ten finishing at this level of competition.
For most triathletes at the Ironman World Championships a top 10 finish in your age group is quite an accomplishment, but for Karen Smith, who has won her age group and finished 3rd ( as well as other top ten finishes) at these championships, anything less than a podium this year was always going to be below her expectations.
Going into the race Karen looked lean and well prepared and had a quiet confidence and a podium place looked well in her grasp.
Karen produced her fastest swim in these championships with a 1 hr 5 min 56 sec clocking for the 4km . She then kept pace with the leading group of cyclists in her 50-54 age group to finish the bike in again her fastest time in this event, 5 hrs 18 mins 56 secs, and in 3rd place. Feeling strong going into the run she was confident of at least a top 3 finish but she could not have anticipated the stomach troubles that beset her after the first few kilometers of the run which got progressively worse and in the end left her unable to hold down nutrition and forced her to walk. Karen’s final run time of 4 hrs 29 mins 12 secs was well below her expected time of between 3 hrs 30 mins to 3 hrs 40 mins which would have given her 2nd or 3rd place on the day. Her finishing time of 11 01 43 was good enough for 7th place out of 69 competitors in her age group but left Karen wondering what might have been.
I wouldn’t surprised if Karen is at the starting line next year.
Last Saturday 13th October I was privileged to once again be in Kona for one of the most iconic sporting events of the year, the Ironman World Championships, to support Karen Smith and Tyler Butterfield.
Leading up to these championships Tyler had produced some solid results which must have given him confidence going into this year’s event. Tyler exited the 4km swim in 50 mins 27 secs and was well positioned on the bike with a group of strong cyclists towards the front of the race.
Holding the pace with the group of athletes around you is critical in this event but there is a fine line between riding in a group and being penalised for drafting. Often marshalls will pick riders from a group fairly randomly when others in the group are also drafting. In the end Tyler was oe of three in his group that got penalised 5 minutes and crotically that penalty has to be served out on the bike course which meant that Tyler lost touch with the group. That meant that realistically his chances of a top 10 finish were gone and despite a very respectable ride of 4 hrs 31 mins 27 secs bike time it did not match the times between 4 hr 16 and 4 hr 20 of the group.
Tyler looked very relaxed on the run ( chatting with spectators and other competitors) and (although he might dispute this) looked like had he been in the mix for a top ten finish of the bike that he could have produced an even faster run than the 3hrs 3 mins 58 secs. In the end his time of 8 hrs 30 mins 38 secs ( 29th male professional) left me wondering what might have been had he not incurred that bike penalty.
I hope that Tyler feels that he has some unfinished business in Kona.
Rough seas and rip currents meant that on day two of the Carifta Games all but the 16-19 aquathlon ( swim / run) age group events had to be reduced to a run only. This decision affected a number of the Bermuda team which contained some strong swimmers who might well have medalled had the swim gone ahead. However the team did not disappoint.
Leading the way again was Jasmin Hasselkus with the already very highly rated youngster taking her second gold medal of these championships in the girls 11-12 age category. Having posted the fastest run in winning yesterday’s 11-12 girls triathlon, Jasmin started the run as a clear favorite and she held off the competition in a tight finish to win the 1.25km in 4 min 42 seconds just two seconds ahead of Annh Noyon of Guadaloupe. Bermuda’s Daria Desmond became Bermuda’s second medallist of the day as she finished a further second back to take the bronze medal.
The cancellation of the swim was very disappointing for Taylor White and Myeisha Sharrieff who had trained hard just for for the aquathlon, but they shook off the disappointment and threw themselves into it.
Tommy Marshall profited from the run only format to narrowly miss out in the boys 13-15 run over 3.75km finishing 4th.
Bermuda came an impressive second in the overall team category with 43 points, after a very strong Guadalupe team with 100 points, with Trinidad and Tobago 3rd with 23 points. Considering the Bermuda team had no participants in the 16-19 triathlon and no males in the 16-19 aquathlon, it was a very strong performance and bodes very well for the future. There were 12 countries competing.
5th – Taylor White
6th Zoe Hasselkuss
10th – Liana Medeiros
12th – Myeisha Sharrieff
15th – Amber Simons
4th – Tommy Marshall
6th – Nick Pilgrim
9th – Caleb Ingham
16th – Brian Desmond
18th – Nico Davis
Bermuda came second in the overall team category with 43 points, after a very strong Guadalupe team with 100 points, with Trinidad and Tobago 3rd with 23 points. Considering the Bermuda team had no participants in the 16-19 triathlon and no males in the 16-19 aquathlon, it was a very strong performance and bodes very well for the future. There were 12 countries competing.
Tyler Butterfield continued his fine season and preparation for the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in two weeks time, with an excellent 2nd place finish today, Sunday 30th September, at the Ironman 70.3 Cozumel in Mexico.
Tyler exited the swim in a strong time of 22 min 16 secs, 1:20 ahead of eventual winner, Austria’s Michael Weiss. Weiss, a multiple time Ironman winner in 2018, used his renowned strong bike leg to catch Tyler on the bike and then open up a cushion on Tyler going into the run, posting a time of 2 hrs 00 mins 52 secs to Tyler’s 2 : 07 : 47. Tyler was riding well up near the front early on the bike but I have no indication on whether he just lost time or got a flat or mechanical before T2.
Tyler clawed back time on the run, moving up from 5th of the bike, with a 1:16:11 posting to Weiss 1:18:51 but it was not enough to take the win. Tyler finished in 3hr 49 min 25 secs to Weiss’ 3:47:14.
In windy conditions in Hamilton, Adsy Gordon and Ashley Couper (Estwanik ) lived up to their pre race favorite tags as they were crowned male and female champions today, Sunday 30th September, in the popular Tokio Millenium Re Triathlon.
Adsy, the Australian coach and professional triathlete visiting Bermuda to conduct a triathlon camp, posted the fastest 750m swim in the individual event and never looked back as he also posted the fastest individual event and overall bike time and the fastest individual event run time to win comfortably in 1 hr 33 secs. As expected, behind Adsy there was a real battle for local honours with Phil Mace, the 2018 Bermuda National Standard Distance Triathlon Champion, finishing 2nd in 1 hr 7 mins 09 secs with Alan Potts just catching Corey Bruton to take third in 1 hr 07 mins 53 secs. Alan trailed Phil by over 2 minutes going into the bike but clawed back a minute and a half going into the run only for Phil to slightly extend his lead on the run. Corey finished just 5 secs behind Alan in 1 hr 07 min 58 secs as his run time fell 9 seconds short of Alan’s time.
In the race for overall women’s honours Ashley , who is coming back from injury, was made to work hard for the win by the impressive Maddie Durkin. Maddie exited the water 1 min 13 secs ahead of Ashley and then extended her lead on the bike to over 1 min 30 secs. Ashley however used her superior running skills to real in Maddie on the run and in the end had a cushion on the gutsy Maddie as she finished 8th overall in 1 hr 11 min 06 secs to Maddie’s 1:13:18 (10th overall). Louise Wells (13th overall), fresh from her excellent age group performance in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in South Africa rounded out the top three with a fine 1 hr 16 min 00 sec time with Laura Norman 4th.
Two of the performances of the day came from 66 year old Maria Duffy and 59 year old Kent Richardson, two incredibly dedicated triathletes. Kent was 9th overall in 1:12:54 and Maria 28th overall and 9th woman in 1:24:54.
Butterfield and Vallis Team 1, consisting of Steve Petty, Mark Lombardi and Spencer Butterfield were the overall men’s team winners. Melissa Logie, Allison Petty and Karen Smith ( Team MAK) won the female team title. Easily the fastest team of the day were the Mixed Team winners of Eileen Mullwoney (with the fastest swim of the day), Kwame Curling (with the 2nd fastest bike) and Dennis Mbelenzi (with the fastest run).
Paul Hayward and Linda Yorston were the Tri a Tri winners with Zak Froud, Zander Miller and Nirobi Smith Mills of Saltus winning the school triathlon and the team of Ava Pedro and Jessica Allitlt won the school duathlon.
FOR FULL RESULTS AND MORE PHOTOS GO TO WWW.BERMUDATIMING.BM
MORE ON THE JUNIOR EVENTS AT THE TMR IN A LATER POSTING.