Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield has announced that he will concentrate solely on longer distance racing and specifically be targeting the Ironman World Championships in Kona this year. Butterfield had indicated that he would try for a third Olympics in Rio in 2016 but has determined that he will need to dedicate himself fully to Ironman racing if he is to achieve his stated goal of at least taking a podium position at Kona.
Butterfield finished an impressive 7th in Kona in 2013 after holding down 4th place until just a few kilometers from the finish. He then made an impressive start to the 2014 season by winning the Abu Dhabi Long Distance Triathlon against a strong field that included the then reigning Ironman World Champion, Frederic Van Lierde. However, despite appearing to be in contention early in the bike at Kona in 2014, Tyler suffered from back problems and was forced to DNF after the bike.
Meanwhile Nikki Butterfield, a former U23 Triathlon World Champion who also had a stellar cycling career, has announced that she will not be racing professionally and will concentrate on looking after their two small children and acting as Tyler’s manager.
For more on Tyler and Nikki’s decision, go to Bermuda Island Stats (Triathlon section) via the Links section of this blog. Island Stats also has an interview with Tyler on his decision that you can listen to.