Tyler second in Texas triathlon
In his first event since the London Olympics, Tyler Butterfield stormed to a second-place finish in the Lonestar Sprint 5150 Triathlon in Galveston, Texas on Sunday.
In a field of close to 400 professional and amateurs, the 29-year-old crossed the line just 27 seconds behind the winner, Californian Chris Foster.
Just two weeks ago, Butterfield announced he would be switching his focus from International Triathlon Union racing to the non-drafting format, a slightly different discipline in which cyclists aren't allowed an advantage by shadowing the riders in front of them.
And Sunday's performance showed that Butterfield is well suited to this kind of event.
His final time over the 1.5 kilometre swim, 40K bike ride and 10K run was one hour, 50 minutes and six seconds compared to Foster's 1:49.39.
In London where Butterfield finished 34th, he clocked the fastest bike time of any of those in the field but on Sunday it was his sizzling 10K run of 34.20 that proved the best of the day.
Heading into the 10K it was already a two-horse race and although Butterfield was 13 seconds faster than his rival it was not quite enough.
Third-placed Karl Kahsar, who like Butterfield, trains and lives in Boulder, Colorado, crossed the line in 1:52.0, exactly two minutes behind the Bermudian.
As wife Nikki looks to sit out the 2013 season, hoping to have a second child, Tyler has drawn up a new schedule that will see him compete mainly across the US.
This weekend he'll be racing in the Superfrog Triathlon in California, an event in which Lance Armstrong was originally entered before he was stripped of all of his Tour De France titles and banned for life following allegations of doping..
Butterfield then heads to the Ironman 70.3 event in Austin, Texas, in October and the Ironman Arizona in November.
His schedule is aimed at collecting points for the Hy-Vee 5150 US Championships and the Ironman World Championship in 2013.
“Training for ITU and for non-drafting is quite different,” explained Butterfield.
“A good analogy would be to compare a road race to a time trial in cycling. Of course, you have to train your bike to be strong for ITU but it's a totally different style of riding.
“I've started preparing but I'm not sure I'll have enough time to do anything special this year after two years of intense ITU training.
“I was especially focused on my swim in the lead-up to London as a strong swim is the key to being in contention in an ITU race, whereas now I'll take a more well-rounded approach to all three disciplines.
“I'm hoping that in 2013 I'll be ready to race the guys who are specifically prepared for this type of racing.”
As for his wife's plans to sit out the 2013 season, Butterfield: ”As a family pro, one of the hardest things is family planning.
“If you want children there is certainly a ticking clock and you have to decide how long you're prepared to race before or even between children.
“Most of the girls racing at the moment have decided to focus 100 percent on racing, then retire and become moms.”
The couple already have a daughter, Savana, and after her birth Nikki returned to racing, earning a number of podium places including a first place at the 2012 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon where she picked up a cheque for $50,000.