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.
This year’s Bank of Bermuda Triathlon will take place on Monday 4th November, a public holiday, in St George’s and has an exciting new format.
The 2019 event will now be a Mixed Relay featuring teams of two adults (16 years + / one male and one female) and two juniors (age 8-15 / either two boys, two girls or one boy and one girl).
There are various categories including corporate ( adults in team working for same company / institution), open and family (extended family).
There is also a school category for teams of two boys and two girls and in the case of BHS teams of four girls are permitted. Ages are determined as at 31st December 2019 EXCEPT that the minimum age requirement for juniors is 8 ON RACE DAY and not at December 31st, 2019.
Each competitor will complete 200m swim, 5km bike and 1km run but in relay format.
Bermuda was represented at the Commonwealth Games in a Mixed Relay when Bermuda’s two professional triathletes, Tyler Butterfield and Flora Duffy, teamed up with elite juniors Erica Hawley and Tyler Smith. The event will feature in next year’s Olympic Games for the first time.
ENTRIES AT WWW.RACEDAYWORLD.COM BY 5PM ON SATURDAY 2ND NOVEMBER.
FOR FULL DETAILS AND COURSE MAPS GO TO WWW.BERMUDATRIATHLON.COM
UK Coach – Jack Maitland – Junior Camp & Coaching
Jack Maitland, coming to us from the UK, will be conducting a Junior Camp during the week of October 21st (school mid term) and “Coach the Coach” sessions during the week in the early evenings. Junior Camp HALF DAYS Mornings:
Mon 21st / Tues 22nd – NSC North Field
Wed 23rd / Thurs 24th – NSC Swimming Pool
Fri 25th – BTA Shed, Clearwater ending with a lunchtime BBQ
Registration Contact: Caroline Wright Adult/Parent Coaching Sessions: FREE
Mon 21st – Thurs 24th Evenings: 6pm – 7:30pm
Location: BOA, Ground Floor, Belvedere Bldg (Opposite Waterloo House)
Registration Contact: Caroline Wright
Jack comes to us highly recommended by British Triathlon. He ran the Leeds Center of Excellence and coached the Brownlee brothers for a number of years. He is now applying his expertise to developing more coaches around the world. You can visit his website at http://www.britishtriathlon.org Jack Maitland.
Karen Smith had to draw on all of her experience yesterday as she battled pain and tough conditions to record an impressive 4th place finish in the female 50-54 age group at the Ironman World Championships in Kona yesterday (Saturday 12th October).
After an excellent swim in rolling waves Karen exited the water 2nd in her age group in 1:06:48 in a tightly bunched field. German Beate Goertz, the strong favorite in this age group, wasted no time in distancing herself from the competition as she averaged an incredible 22.33 miles per hour for the 180km bike despite climbing temperatures and the usual tough headwinds in the 20 miles before the turn back to Kona. Karen quickly lost places on the bike after two stops to check on noise from her bike but on the return portion she moved her way back up into contention finishing with a 5:37:19 time going into the run.
However, over the past couple of years Karen has been suffering with a foot condition that causes swelling and pinching of the nerves and the problem was aggravated on the bike resulting in a long T2 to ice her feet. Despite the pain Karen began to work her up the field from 6th into 4th but was just unable to reel in former Canadian professional Y Timewell who finished in 10hrs 40 mins 45 secs with Karen just 2 minutes back in 10 :42;54 getting to within 55 secs of Timewell despite suffering cramps later on the run. Goerta posted an extraordinary 9 hr 46 mins 02 secs, the 9th fastest female amateur time (!!!!) to take the age group win.
Karen posted a 3;47:27 marathon. Altogether a gutsy performance.
The overall women’s winner was Germany’s Anne Haug who blitzed the run course to catch Lucy Charles, who recorded another 2nd place finish after repassing Australian Sarah Crowley who faded late in the race but hung on for 3rd.
Jan Frodeno after suffering muscle problems two years ago and sitting out last year after a stress fracture recorded his 3rd overall mens victory as the anticipated challenge from the 2017 and 2018 winner and course record holder Patrick Lange and first time IM World Champ participant Alistair Brownlee did not materialise. Lange pulled out early on the bike due to developing a fever overnight and Brownlee faded to 21st in the stiffling Kona heat that took its toll on a number of the top men including Canada’s Lionel Sanders and Scotland’s David MacNamee who were expecting to be challenging for a podium spot. The USA’s Tim O’Donnell was a popular if unexpected 2nd after battling injuries for a couple of years with the consistent Sebastien Kienle in 3rd.
Corey Brunton and Ashley Cooper held off spirited challenges and windy conditions on Sunday at Clearwater Beach to be crowned the AXA Bermuda National Olympic (standard ) Triathlon Champions for 2019.
Brunton got off to a strong start as he posted the quickest swim time (26:04) for the 1500 meter choppy swim emerging from the water with women’s leader Maddie Durkin (26:06).
Brunton entered T1 with almost a minute lead over nearest rival Matt Thompson with Alex Krononberg almost 3 minutes adrift. Matt and Alex however wasted no time over the 40km bike in eating into Corey’s lead with all three contenders separated by around a minute into T2, Alex posting the fastest bike of the day in 1:05:13.
Meamwhile Maddie entered T1 with nearly 1 1/2 minutes over Ashley and added a further 1 1/2 minutes to her lead on the bike going into the run with Louise Wells producing a strong bike leg to close down Ashley.
In the end Corey and Ashley’s strong running ability told as they both produced 10km runs under 42 minutes, winning comfortably in the end. Maddy had enough of a cushion to hold off Louise Wells for 2nd place. Alex and Matt were meanwhile involved in a real battle for the remaining podium spots with Alex catching Matt on the run to edge him by just 13 seconds.
The strength of the women’s field was evident as Ashley (4th), Maddie (5th), Louise (6) and Becci Shepherd (10th) all finished in the top ten.
Visitor Nigel Cox was first across the line in the 60+ age group in an impressive time of 2:48:26 with Charlie Duffy ,at 69, also impressive with a time of 3:03:25
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.