In winning Ironman Cozumel today in Mexico in 7 hrs 44 mins and 01 seconds Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield recorded the second fastest time in Ironman history.
The previous 2nd fastest time was held by Canada’s Lionel Sanders who’s time of 7 hrs 44 mins and 38 seconds is just 37 seconds slower than Tyler’s time today.
The fastest time recorded is 7hrs 40 mins 23 secs, by the UK’s Tim Don in Brazil. Don was the guest speaker at the Bermuda Triathlon Association’s Prize Giving Dinner last year and is a good friend of Tyler.
A group of Bermuda triathletes are today ( Sunday 24th November) competing in Ironman Arizona and so far Louise Wells and Marie Dore have got the group off to a fantastic start after impressive performances.
Louise, who after performing extremely well on the international stage in her age group in Ironman 70.3 races, competed in her first Ironman today and was 2nd in the Female 45-49 age group in a fast 10 hours 33 minutes and 07 secs.
Louise was out of the water in 1 :18:08, a good swim in her weakest discipline, but after a typically fast bike of 5:22:20 she had moved up to 3rd. Louise then ran a very strong 3:39:54 marathon to finish a comfortable 9 minutes ahead of 3rd. Louise had trailed eventual leader Rebecca McKee by nearly 20 minutes but her run brought her to within 81/2 minutes of McKee at the finish line. McKee has been outstanding in this age group in multiple races and is a well recognised triathlon coach. Louise was also the 33rd woman to finish overall. Louise now needs to see if she qualifies with this result for the Ironman World Championships, her stated aim going into this race.
Marie Lyne was racing in the very competitive 35-39 age group and got off to a flying start with a strong 1 hr 3 min 46 sec swim which put her in 6th place in her age group. She then moved up to 4th going into the run after a solid 5:24:16 bike and was able to maintain that position to the finish with a 3:46:41 run for an overall time of 10:27:59, good enough for 29th overall out of all women competitors.
Kevin Ronaldson, also in his first Ironman, was a respectable 52nd out of 223 in the mens 35-39 age group in 11:27:18. He was 34th after the swim in 1:07:35 and 57th off the bike with a 5:34:12 clocking but made up 5 spots on the run with a 4:31:06 marathon.
Dianna White did not complete the race, which was expected as she entered the race knowing that she might not do so. Geoff Smith was an impressive 8th at mile 16 on the run but has not recorded a time since suggesting that a recurring calf injury may have forced him to pull out.
Still out on the course are Clifford Roberts who at the time of writing has just passed the 18 mile marker on the run, Chris Eaton, who is into mile 22 of the run and Graham Fowle, who has gone through mile 7.6 of the run.
Tyler Butterfield produced arguably the best performance of his triathlon career as he put together the perfect race to win Ironman Cozumel.
Fresh from his victory at the Ironman Cozumel 70.3 (half ironman ) just a few weeks ago, showed just how much he likes this course, and the heat, as he clocked a very impressive overall time of 7hrs 44 mins 01 secs to become one of just a handful of triathletes to break the 7 hrs 45 mins barrier for the 4km swim , 180km bike and 42km run.
Tyler started solidly emerging from the water in 42 min 10 secs just 3 mins off the lead in 15th place but well in touch with his main rivals that included Tim O’Donnell who finished 2nd in October in the Ironman World Championships.
After a solid 4hr 19 mins 14 secs bike Tyler after a quick transition left T2 still some 8 min 54 secs behind race leader, Austria’s Michael Weiss.
It recent races, including Ironman Florida, Tyler has shown excellent running form and it soon became evident that he was going to produce something special for the 42km as he started to reel off between 3min 30 secs and 3min 50 secs kilometers whislt the 8 athletes ahead of him were running at between 4min and 4 min 20 sec pace.
By mile 17 Tyler had overtaken Weiss and gradually distanced himself from the Austrian recording a very impressive 2hr 38 min 29 secs for the marathon. Few triathletes have gone below the 2hr 40 mark for the marathon in an Ironman so his run was outstanding and overall this was an eye opening performance. Weiss was 2nd today with Mario de Elias 3rd.
Tyler was watched by his wife Nicky and four children who made the journey to Cozumel and what a proud moment it was for the Butterfield family today.
In recent years Tyler has had some impressive Ironman 70.3 results but has largely failed to reproduce the form that saw him finish 5th in the Ironman World Championships a few years ago. His performance today qualifies Tyler for the Ironman World Championships 2020 in October in Kona, Hawaii and this result could well be the inspiration and confidence boost he needs to aim for (perhaps!!) his last big chance to make the top three at the World Championships, something which many leading triathletes and former world champions say he is capable of achieving.
But for now he can bask in the glory of a stunning performance in Cozumel and a bit of R and R with the family !
Feb 21 – 29, 2020 – JASPER BLAKE AND MIKE NEILL BERMUDA TRIATHLON CAMP
This popular camp run by Victoria based coaches and former professional triathletes Jasper Blake and Mike Neill has been running for 10 years and always attracts a large number of local, and the occasional overseas, triathletes. Look out for details. Sessions are run early mornings, lunchtimes and evenings during the week with other weekend sessions and this camp is for beginners up to experienced triathletes.
Feb 22 or 29, 2020 – Bermuda Triathlon Association Annual Prize Giving Dinner
BE ON HAND FOR A GREAT EVENING IN WHICH THE BTA RECOGNIZE ITS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS AND AWARDS ARE HANDED OUT FOR VARIOUS CATEGORIES SUCH AS MOST IMPROVED AND BEST NEWCOMER TRIATHLETES AND SENIOR AND JUNIOR TRIATHLETES OF THE YEAR.
THERE IS ALSO ALWAYS AN OUTSTANDING GUEST SPEAKER FROM THE WORLD OF TRIATHLON AND A RAFFLE AND AUCTION. LOOK OUT FOR DETAILS.
St.George’s today ( Monday 4th November) hosted the Bank of Bermuda Foundation Triathlon but in its new team relay format.
The exciting new format saw teams of 2 adults and 2 juniors (aged 8-16) as well as school teams compete in a relay format with each competitor completing a 200 meter swim, 4.5km bike and 1.2 km run.
The Open Category was won by the team of Fenella Wightman, Tommy Marshall, Jessie Marshall and Nick Pilgrim. First School team (and second overall) was composed of Warwick’s Daria Desmond, Callum MacFarland, Bella Howes, and Rory Fleming. And the winner of the Family category was Dominic Wright, Jacob Wright, Caroline Wright, and Adam Hopkin.
Tyler Butterfield produced a strong race on Saturday in the Florida Ironman to finish 7th overall in 8hrs 5 mins 38 secs.
Tyler, along with eventual winner Joe Skipper of the UK trailed ,the leaders out of the swim by around 2 1/2 minutes with a 53 minutes flat time. Skipper, a strong cyclist, began to make inroads into the leaders but Tyler was unable to match that pace, recording a 4 hr 21min 42 sec 180km bike to Skipper’s 4:05:51.
Tyler did however produce the 3rd fastest run time completing the marathon in 2:42:48 but he had too much time to make up to break into the top three.
Skipper clocked 2:39:01 for the run to take the win in 7:46:28 over Ben Hoffman who despite the fastest run of the day (2:36:09) gave up too much time to Skipper on the bike and finished in 7:48:29.
Andrew Starykowicz had a very fast 4:01:19 for the bike which gave him over 8 minutes over Skipper going into the run but he is to a renowned runner and his 2:58:36 run dropped him into 3rd place.
Zoe Roberts almost competed for Bermuda finishing a very creditable 26th in her 40-44 age group.
Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield will be on the start line tomorrow, Saturday 2nd November, at Ironman Florida as he looks to qualify for the 2020 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in October of next year.
Tyler will have his work cut out though if he is to get that one elusive qualifying spot as if the start list is correct he will line up with this year’s Ironman World Championships 4th place finisher, the USA’s Ben Hoffman and 6th place finisher Joe Skipper from the UK. Also in the field is highly regarded US athlete Matt Russell, 17th in Kona this year, and the experienced Rudi Wild who was 2nd in the 2019 Hamburg Ironman.
Tyler showed with his recent win in Cozumel in an Ironman 70.3 race that he has good form but he will be the first to admit that the longer Ironman distance is a very different challenge and it remains to be seen whether he has the level of fitness required to upstage the favorites. It will take a special race from him but if he is there or thereabouts going into the run and has the endurance needed he showed in Cozumel that he can run with the best of them.