Despite carrying a painful back injury, Tyler Butterfield produced an encouraging performance yesterday, Sunday 8th July, to finish 7th amongst the professional men in 8 hrs 38 mins 58 secs at Ironman Frankfurt.
Tyler exited the swim in a solid time of 49 mins 34 secs, 7th overall, and then had a strong bike in 4:33:30 to enter T2 within 6 mins of leader Josh Amberger of Australia who held a few seconds lead over the German Jan Frodeno (2015/2016 Ironman World Champion) with Patrick Lange (2017 Ironman World champion) and Sweden’s Patrick Nilsson a few seconds further back.
Tyler spend 10 mins in transition trying to loosen his back but despite the pain produced a gutsy time of 3 hrs 2 mins 53 secs for the run, well below his best.
Jan Frodeno meanwhile laid down a marker for the 2018 edition of Kona as he took the win in 8:00:58 with a very quick 2:39:06 marathon (despite walking the last part of the run up the finish shute) ahead of Patrick Nilsson (8:08:15) and Lange ( 8:09:26).
Sadly Allison Petty, competing in her first full Ironman race, was unable to finish, after suffering a crash at mile 80 on the bike and despite continuing the damage to her bike meant she had to pull out just 8 kms from the finish of the bike leg.
Allison had an outstanding swim of 59 mins 57 secs which put her 1st in the 35-39 age group and 14th woman overall. She then produced a very strong first portion of the bike up to kms 121 with her speed in the middle section of the course ranging between 31 and 35km per hour.
Allison bravely carried on after the crash but at a reduced speed but a derailleur failure meant she was forced to pull out agonisingly close to the finish. Evidently Allison was very bruised up so we wish her a speedy recovery.
Sue Edney produced an excellent performance on Sunday 1st July taking 2nd place in Ironman Austria in Klagenfurt in a time of 13hrs 3 mins 52 secs.
Sue completed the swim, which included an 800m up a narrow canal from the lake, in 1 hr 18 mins 20 secs. She then rode 6hrs 27 mins 33 secs for the hilly two loop bike course and finished off with a 5hr 05 min 10 secs run.
The race involved a long swim to bike run transition.
Sue was on course for a run time of well below 5 hrs but suffered nausea from dehydration which saw her in the medical tent after the race for an hour.
The age group winner was Nadia Kosjek of Slovenia, who has multiple appearances at Ironman Kona, in 12 hrs 23 mins 55 secs. 3rd was Tina Erichsen in 13 : 29 : 28 almost 26 mins behind Sue.
Tyler Smith commenced a busy race schedule on 23rd June with a series of top elite European races as he continues to gain experience in the senior ranks.
On 23rd June Tyler had a bit of a challenging time and placed 26th (out of 67 starters) in Wuustwezel, Belgium in a European Cup race, 1:29 behind the winner, Martin Van Riel of Belgium. Tyler had a problem racking his bike in T2 and not only lost valuable time but was assessed a 10 second penalty for an incorrect rack. Despite a 16:49 5km he was unable to recover from his T2 mistakes.
On the 30th June Tyler had an excellent race in the Netherlands (Holten ETU Sprint Triathlon Premium European Cup) placing 10th (out of 68 starters) with a time of 56:29, 44 seconds behind the winner, Ignacio Gonzalez Garcia of Spain. The race ended up coming down to the run as the chase pack caught the leaders and around 50 competitors came together by the end of the bike and into T2 together. Tyler’s 18:14 5km run (on what appeared to be a slightly long course) was the 9th fastest of the day and secured his top-10 (and prize paying) position.
Tyler then raced yesterday, July 1st ( back to back weekend racing), in Dusseldorf, Germany for his Weicon team in the highly competitive Bundesliga triathlon team league. He just didn’t have much in his legs after back to back races and what little he had he burned trying to hang with South Africa’s leading triathlete Richard Murray as the two of them tried a breakaway together to bridge the gap between the chase and the lead pack about midway through the bike. Murray made it across to the lead group (and ended up finishing 2nd) but Tyler didn’t and fell further down the field. Tyler ended up 31st (out of 80 starters) with a 58:51 but he was the top finisher on his team – WEICON TriFinish Munster – which came 7th (out of 16 teams) and is now 6th overall after this 2nd of 5 races in this professional team series.
Tyler was looking to leverage the experience of these three highly competitive sprint races (over 8 days) in advance of the CAC Games and is now back at his university base of Leeds for a one month block of training. He is certainly holding his own on the very tough elite European circuit in his first year in the senior ranks.