A strong contingent of Bermuda’s triathletes will be joining Tyler Butterfield on the start line at this Saturday’s North American Ironman 70.3 Championships in St. George, Utah.
Many of the group last competed over the 70.3 distance at the Miami 70.3 in October of 2015 and a number of them produced top ten finishes in their age group. They will undoubtedly face tougher competition in these championships but it would be no suprise if there are some top ten finishes and perhaps even a podium finish.
Ashley Estanwik did not finish Miami because she could not run due to an injury, but held a good lead in her age group before the run, her strongest discipline. If she is fully recovered from her injury then I will tip her for at least a top five finish in her age group.
Neil Lupsic was the fastest Bermuda finisher in Miami and was 12th in the 35- 39 age group, one of the most competitive age groups in the sport. St. George may be a tougher proposition but a top 20 finish would be a great achievement.
Kirsten Palmer, 5th in Miami, and Allison Schindell (formerly Petty), who was 11th in Miami, will be two others to watch. Phil Mace failed to finish Miami but as one of the island’s leading triathletes he too should place well in his age group.
Sadly, Reid Robinson wont be able to run because of injury but he has been cycling exceptionally well with 2nd place finishes in the BBA Time Trial Series so expect him to be close to the leading competitors in his age group off the bike.
And then there is Spencer Butterfield. Tyler Butterfield has acknowledged before that as a junior his brother was perhaps the more talented of the two. Since then Spencer has only dabbled in running until recently when he has started to participate in cycling races. He now will be racing with his brother which will inspire both of them. I would not be surprised if Spencer does well in his age group.
Mike Schindel is a bit of an unknown quantity but I have heard that he is a talented triathlete as is the final member of the group, Aaron Garcia.
This group is one of the most competitive for many years travelling to represent Bermuda so it will be interesting to see just how they perform on Saturday.
You can follow each athlete’s progress by clicking here and entering their name in the Results section.