You might have been forgiven for thinking that perhaps Tyler Butterfield had either retired or cut back from his Ironman racing, in particular since he will not be appearing in Kona this year for the Ironman World Championships after a number of years on the starting line.
However, Tyler showed this past weekend that he is still very much in the picture when it comes to the best long distance triathletes in the world by finishing first at the Ironman 70.3 Cozumel 2019.
It may not have been the strongest field assembled with many triathletes already in Kona preparing, but in tough conditions Tyler produced a very strong performance with impressive splits for someone who has had to split his time between a growing family, work on the family horse boarding facilities and training.
Tyler came out of the water within seconds of the leaders in 25:05 and then blitzed the bike in 2:07:19 at an average speed of 42.42km/hr and then put in a solid run of 1:14:45 for an overall time of 3hr 50 mins 22 secs
addie Durkin (F35-39) and Cora Lee Starzomski (F45-49) both produced excellent performances over the weekend at the prestigious Ironman 70.3 Lake Placid , one of the oldest Ironman 70.3 races on the calendar.
Maddie completed the swim in a very impressive time of 32 min 48 secs and a 2:51:58 bike and 1:43:47 run gave her an overall time of 5:18;03 good enough for 3rd in her age group, one of the most competitive asge groups.
Cora Lee also had a strong swim of 33:43 and a solid bike of 3:01:43 and a 2:05;24 run saw her cross the finish line in 5:52:00 for 6th place in her age group.
Both athletes attended the “drop down” for places at the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in New Zealand with both Maddie and Cora Lee being offered a place at these world championships. Maddie declined but Cora Lee accepted and will represent Bermuda next year in New Zealand.
Flora Duffy finished 3rd today in the Banyoles World Cup after finding out 25 minutes before the race start that she would be starting !
Flora admitted in the interview after the race that she did not really know the course very well but still managed to lead out of Banyoles Lake and work with a group of eight others to open up a 55 sec gap on the remainder of the field into T2. Flora then opened a gap with Laura Lindermann of Germany and the USA’s Tara Gorman. Lindermann, one of the fastest runners in triathlon, opened up a 50 meter gap just before lap 2 and although Flora initially opened up a gap on Gorman, the American caught back up and narrowly edged out Flora on the final sprint to the finish.
Flora expressed her appreciation to be on the start line and acknowledged that at one time she wasn’t sure if she would be running again so she has been delighted to put together three good races so early in her comeback.
Louise Wells today finished the Ironman 70.3 World Championships 45-49 age group in 5hrs 43 mins 15 secs for a solid 46th place out of 240 in her age group.
Louise exited the water in 38 mins 22 secs in 120th in her age group but with an average speed of 28.11 km an hour on the tough Nice bike course Louise moved her way through the field with a 3:16:21 bike. Louise then produced a solid 1:41:54 run.
Sadly Karen Smith DNF for the first time since 2005. See her report below :
Pretty disappointing DNF! Only time I’ve ever had a DNF was in Honolulu in 2005 when a car crashed into me. Anyway I was riding the main climb (10k up) here and just after I crested I felt some sharp pains in my inner thigh. Not sure if it’s just strained from the climb but it never settled down so I basically coasted to T2. Thankfully it was downhill but I just could not put any pressure on the pedals. Standing up was impossible and my dismount into T2 was challenging as I couldn’t bare any weight on it. I didn’t dare even try to run so called it a day and hope to recover in time for Kona. Obviously very disappointed but these things happen sometimes. Very grateful to even be here though.
Standard Distance – 200m swim/8K bike/1.6K run
25.34 Will Green
26.37 Katherine Phillips
26.52 Rory Fleming
26.54 Garth Fleming
28.13 Vivian Lochhead
28.28 Tim Patterson
29.54 Maria Duffy
30.17 Arthur Wightman
30.37 Jackson Langley
31.33 Nell Wightman
32.15 Liz Harris
34.11 Charlotte Millington
37.49 Alan Gilbertson
43.11 Karen Gonsalves
200m swim/8K bike/1 lap run
34.59 Judith Howe Tucker
200m swim/8K bike
20.02 Julia Hawley
100m swim/2 laps bike/1 lap run
18.10 Harris Fleming
21.45 Fergus Wightman
22.01 Lachlan Souter
22.31 Owen Stewart
22.43 Dylan Eiselt
25.30 Daisy Langley
25.31 Clive Langley
Flora Duffy found out 30 minutes before the start of the Banyoles World Cup that she would be racing and has wasted no time in spreading out the field leading out of the lake and then pulling 8 other athletes with her on the bike. They have just started the 5km run with the large group nearly a minute behind in a strong field.
As most if not all of you will know now, Flora Duffy completed her second comeback race with an impressive 5th place finish at the ITU World Series Grand Final triathlon in Lausanne, Switzerland. This result followed an impressive win ( after a bizarre disqualification of the first two finishers) in the Olympic distance test event in Japan two weeks earlier.
To her large number of fans in Bermuda and beyond this result was most likely a bit of a disappointment but in pure racing terms and preparation for the 2020 Olympics, no doubt Flora’s sole focus now, these results can only be counted as a massive step forward in her quest for that Olympic medal.
So what are the positives :
Coming into the two races with less than ideal preparation time she was able to come off the bike with the leading small group.
Flora showed that with another year of training her chances of being in a lead few out of the water in 2020 is still a very realistic goal.
If she is then able to produce her usual dynamic ride only the very best will be able to stay with her but their efforts to hold her pace will certainly impact their run.
Flora’s run showed that she is well on her way to being able to match the best runners in any field, something she showed before her injury.
Baring injury, there is no reason to believe that at the Olympics Flora will not once again be the complete package capable of posting the fastest swim, bike and run. Infact if her bike in her two comeback races is anything to go by, her bike is even more powerful than before her injury.
Flora’s belief in her ability, her will to win and ability to go beyond pain barriers that many other athletes are not capable of doing to her level are the other ingredients that make her a unique combination of physical, mental and emotional strengths that will take her once again to the top.
Finally, the fact that she was able to get in two races in 2019 against such strong fields and produce the results she did are another massive plus as she will start the 2020 season with huge confidence rather than wondering where her form is at.