After his 3rd place finish at Ironman 70.3 Brasilia, the Latin American Championships, on 5th April, Tyler Butterfield will face a stern test this weekend in the Ironman 70.3 North American Championships in St. George, Utah.
This weekend’s stellar field includes Sebastian Kienle of Germany, the 2012 and 2013 Ironman 70.3 World Champion and the 2014 Ironman World Champion and a host of other leading long distance triathletes including :
Tim Don of the UK, who is a close friend of Tyler’s and like Tyler is based in Boulder, Colorado. Don took gold ahead of Tyler at the 70.3 Latin American Championships this month and won bronze at the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championships and was 3rd in this race last year just 7 seconds behind Canada’s Brent McMahon. McMahon not only took silver last year but won the 2013 event.
The USA’s Ben Hoffman who was the silver medallist at the 2014 Ironman World Championships is one to watch.
Canadian Lionel Sanders, 4th at last year’s 70.3 world championships, Australia’s Tim Reed, 7th at last year’s 70.3 World Championships, and Tim O’Donnell of the USA, 2nd at this month’s Latin American Championships, will be others to watch.
Between 2009 and 2012 Andreas Raelert of Germany finished 2nd twice and 3rd twice at the Ironman World Championships and was 2nd at the 2008 Ironman 70.3 World Championships and won the 2010 Ironman European Championships. Since 2012 Raelert has not had the same success at major races but if fully fit could well challenge for the podium.
Luke McKenzie was 2nd at Ironman World Championships 2013 but has failed to reproduce that form since then but cant be ruled out for a top finish.
So it is a stacked field and a top 5 finish would be a great achievement for Tyler and I am sure he will be aiming for at least a top ten finish.
The St, George North American 70.3 Ironman Championships 2015 gets underway this Saturday 2nd May at 7AM Utah time which is 10AM Bermuda time.
You can follow the race and get results at the following link :