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 !
Way to go Tyler !