Following on from his 4th place finish in the Dubai 70.3 earlier in the season, Tyler Butterfield will be on the start line this Saturday 22nd April for the Ironman North American Championships in Texas.
IM Texas is the second of the 2017 Regional Championship races – a lot of Ironman World Championships, Kona points (4.000 for the winner), a large prize purse (150.000 US$) and automatic qualifier slots for the winners practically guarantee strong pro fields. This year’s lists of participants are very interesting, as both the male and female fields do not seem to have a clear favorite and Tyler has a strong chance of a podium finish.
The 2015 men’s winner, Matt Hanson, last year’s 2nd place finisher ( shortened course) Matt Russell , Russia’s Ivan Tutukin and the UK’s Will Clarke are likely to be in contention along with veteran Jordan Rapp, the UK’s Joe Skipper, Ronnie Schildknecht of Switzerland and Bas Diederen of the Netherlands.
The USA’s Andrew Starykowicz will most likely lead off the bike as he is an exceptional cyclist but in the past he has not had the run to match his swim / bike. Tyler should be in a group following Starykowicz into T2.
Last year’s race had a shortened bike leg when there were problems getting the necessary permits and very bad weather created the additional need for some last-minute scrambles.
Athletes will begin with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Woodlands. The rolling start, point-to-point swim begins at North Shore Park and ends at Town Green Park. The two-loop, out and back 112-mile bike course takes participants south through the scenic, rolling farmland of east Texas. The day ends with a 26.2-mile run taking place entirely within The Woodlands and concluding with a spectacular finish on Waterway Ave.
To follow the race go to the results section at http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/texas.aspx