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.
Results detailed in a previous posting on this blog.
Five Bermudians headed off to Wilmington earlier this month to comp(L)ete in the 70.3 North Carolina. Steve Smith a veteran to the distance along with 4 sprightly young first timers, Caroline Wright, Mel Sousa, Christine Soutter and Jennie Lightbourne.
Race morning temperature was a cool 51F but the water was very comfortably in the low 70s.
Much to the frustration of our star swimmer Caroline Wright, the first leg was a down stream swim. We were told that the current was so strong in previous years a Dorito bag managed to complete the swim in 45 minutes!
Weather was perfect with a mild breeze on a flat bike course. Steve’s attempt for a PR was hampered by a puncture which lost him some 30 minutes but he was thankfully back on track and racing with the help of some technical support.
The run course was sheltered by woodland and the aid stations were themed and full of lively supporters.
I definitely would recommend this course for first time athletes taking on a 70.3, this year the only obstacle was the distance !! It was especially good for newby swimmers ; you only have to be as fast as a bag of Doritos!
After a two year absence from Xterra Triathlon racing, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy once again dominated the women’s field today to take the 2019 XTerra World Championship title by over 14 minutes from previous two time winner Lesley Paterson of Scotland.
With her win Flora became the first professional triathlete to win five XTerra World Championships, a remarkable feat. Such was her dominance that her winning time placed her 17th overall in 2 hr 49 mins.
Flora got off to a flying start exiting the water in 3rd overall in 21 min 19 secs with Paterson exiting in 24:55, already 3:36 behind Flora.
Flora then posted a 1:38:45 bike to Paterson’s 1:44:17 and exited T2 10 minutes ahead of Paterson.
Flora then extended her lead further with a 47:52 run to Paterson’s 52:42 run. Paterson crossed the line in 3:03:06.
The men’s race was won by good friend and training partner South African Bradley Weiss who like Flora is based part of the year in Stellenbosch where Flora trained with Weiss and husband Dan Hugo. Weiss crossed the line in 2:33:42.
Defending champion Maddie Durkin and 2017 winner Alan Potts took the overall female and male titles today at Clearwater Beach in the 2019 AON Bermuda National Sprint Triathlon Championships today.
Alan was made to work hard for the win by Geoff Smith,Byron Renken and Matt Thompson . Geoff was the early leader out of the 750m choppy swim in 12:51 with Byron and Matt exiting the water in 13 min 34 secs with Alan almost 1 1/2 minutes back in 15 minutes. After a poor transition Alan lost a further 30 secs going into the bike.
Maddie as expected was the early women’s leader out of the swim in 13:40 with last year’s runner up Louise Wells back in 16 mins. Maddie showed just how much she continues to improve with a quick 32:19 bike to further extend her lead over Louise despite Louise posted a strong 33:33 bike leg. Christine Dailey, who led Louise by 1 1/2 minutes after a 14:16 swim was unable to hold off Louise on the bike despite posting a respectable 35:34 bike time.
Geoff used his renowned cycling ability in the blustery conditions to pull away on the 20km bike with a 30 min 33 sec clocking leaving T2 for the 5km run with a lead of over 2 minutes over close friend Matt. Geoff was to be cruelly denied the win as a recurring calf injury saw him having to pull out on the run.
Meanwhile Matt (31:46)opened up a minute lead on Byron (32:39) and a charging Alan (30:40) going into T2 but was unable to hold off Byron and Alan on the run. In the end Alan (19:07) managed to pull away from Byron (19:36) on the run to win in 1 hr 06 mins 09 secs with Byron crossing the line in 1:06:38 for 2nd and Matt, with a 21:06 run 3rd in 1:07:17.
With a lead of over 3 1/2 minutes Maddie was not going to be caught and finished 6th overall in 1:08:07 with a 21:26 run. Louise narrowed the gap with a 20:46 run to finish in 1:11:13 with Christine third in 1:12:51 after a 21:58 run.
There were impressive performances in the 60+ age group with Kent Richardson finishing 7th overall in 1:11:10 and the remarkable 69 year old Charlie Duffy crossing the line in 1:24:23. However in the battle of the spouses Maria Duffy had the edge as the 67 year old Maria finished just 24 seconds ahead of Charlie in 1:24:23 to take 60+ women’s honours. Now we just need Flora to take her 5th XTerrra World Championship title later today ( watch live streaming on Triathlonlive.tv).
The first team over the line was the team of Brian Desmond, Nicholas and Alex Pilgrim in 1:03:06 to win the men’s team division. AON (Eileen Mullowney, Brian Lynch and Edwin Kariuki) were appropriately the company team winners in 1:16:19. Caroline Wright and Jen Lightbourne overcame their recent Ironman 70.3 race fatigue to team up with runner Erica McArthur to take female team honours in 1:13:31. Cora Lee Starzomski, and Toby and Bella Wright were the mixed team winners in 1:06:20.
A group of Bermuda long distance triathletes represented the island last weekend at the Ironman 70.3 North Carolina .
Steve Smith finished 58th in the mens 45-49 age group in 5hrs 20 mins and 39 secs with splits of 27 min 34 secs for the 1.2 mile swim, 2hrs 57 mins 09 secs for the 56 mile bike and 1hr 46 mins and 24 secs for the 13.1 mile run.
Christine Soutter had the best Bermuda finish by age group as she took 40th place in the women’s 40-44 age group with splits of 28:55, 2:48:18 and 2:18:50 for an overall time of 5:46:10.
Caroline Wright and Jennie Lightbourne also finished in the women’s 40-44 age group with Caroline 50th in 5:58:36 with a fast 26:07 swim, a 2:52:05 bike and a 2:31:13 run. Jennie finished 95th in 6:45:12 ( 32:10, 3:09:02 and 2:53:12).
Melanie Sousa was 122nd in the women’s 45-49 age group in 8:39:34 with splits of 43:23, 4:31:52 and 3:07:46
After sitting out a good part of the World Triathlon Series due to injury, Flora Duffy embarked on a busy schedule of racing as she looks to both test her body and hone her fitness ahead of the crucial 2020 season as she looks for a medal winning performance at the Olympic Games, the one medal missing from her impressive collection to date.
After not racing since July 2018 Flora made a stunning comeback taking the win at the Tokyo olympic course test event that attracted a very strong field. Flora followed that up with a 5th place finish at the ITU World Series Grand Final, the biggest race on the 2019 calendar , and a 3rd place finish at the Banyoles World Cup event the following weekend in a race that also attracted a strong field. To cap off her Olympic distance racing Flora competed in the Beijing International Triathlon, an event that attracted a small but impressive field of athletes that on the women’s side included Lucy Hall, Non Stanford, Natalie Van Coverden and Caroline Routier. As expected Flora and the British athlete Lucy Hall used their strong swim / bike combination to open up a four minute lead by the end of the bike with Flora posting a minute quicker run to finish in 2 hr 04 mins and 55 secs, over a course which clearly had a long 10km run, to take the win.
This weekend Flora returns for the first time since 2017 to the Xterra “offroad” triathlon scene as she races at the Xterra World Championships 2019. Flora won her first Xterra World Championship in 2014 and went on to win three more as she completely dominated the women’s field for four years wherever she raced, often also beating many of the male professional triathletes n in the mass start event. Between 2014-17 Flora won 4 world titles by large margins, before injury in 2018 curtailed her winning streak, and if she were to win this weekend she would be the first Xterra athlete to win 5 world professional XTerra titles. Flora will go into this event as the favorite.
See below for the preview of the women’s professional race and an interview with Flora.