Tri star Tyler to run in half-marathon
Triathlete Tyler Butterfield will be back on the road tomorrow in the Hannover Re BNNA Half-Marathon but winning isn’t his top priority.
The May 24 Derby champion and seventh-place finisher at the recent Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, has returned to the Island enjoying some time with his family.
And he’s also following a planned training regime in preparation of his next triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico, on December 1 and more gruelling competition to come in 2014.
“While I’m here I’m doing some training for Cozumel but it’s all relatively low-key training,” explained Butterfield.
“It is basically what we call an off-season race where you do it just to maintain fitness, stay active in the sport and give sponsors some media before the race.
“I don’t plan to race at the front end, I haven’t done the training to ask my body to do that. I did that in October in Hawaii.”
The timing of Butterfield’s trip back home didn’t enable him to be here for the recent Bank of Bermuda Foundation triathlon which could have seen Bermuda’s two professional triathletes competing in the same local event.
Flora Duffy, based in Colorado like Butterfield, was here and had entered the event but could not compete because of illness.
Butterfield’s priority is 2014 and hopefully another impressive showing in the Ironman in October in Kona. “As long as I finish another triathlon I qualify for the World Championships in Kona in 2014,” he explained.
“By coming in the top 10 I accumulated enough points to go back the next year, but you have to validate it by doing another full Ironman within 12 months, so I’m going to Cozumel as a fun competition with the goal to finish, enjoy it, don’t get injured and don’t stress. I performed in Hawaii and this is an ‘after-performance’ race, a warm-up for next year.
‘November and December is the off-season but in December you start to ramp it up again to prepare yourself for the hard training in January and February and my first race won’t be until March which is in Abu Dhabi where I was third last year.
“It is the Abu Dhabi International, a very prestigious race outside the Ironman series.”
Despite a hectic 2014 season which Butterfield will schedule around the birth of a second child for he and wife Nikki in February, Butterfield plans to return to compete in the May 24 Half Marathon, though he points out it is more about the running than winning.
It’s the same case tomorrow when he could be in the same field as Chris Estwanik, still the man to beat on the local roads and who just happens to be married to Butterfield’s cousin Ashley.
Estwanik is easing back into running after a recent injury.
“This weekend is also about enjoyment, I love to run in Bermuda and it is nice to be around the active lifestyle here,” Butterfield stated.
“It’s been a long year and it’s time to do some of the sporting events with the pressure off the result and emphasis on enjoyment. You do have goals that you set during the year but you don’t have to set a goal every time you put your running shoes on.
“Next year I have my race calendar already planned and May 24 is definitely on it, but I’m very realistic though that if Chris is on the start line then I’m not here to defend my title.
“I love May 24, it is the best race in Bermuda and I really enjoy coming back for it. One of the highlights of my career was to win May 24 and I can see why Chris keeps doing it.
“It’s a half-marathon and I’m not a pure runner but I am a triathlete. It was a surprise to win last year because Chris obviously got injured the week before. He’s the best runner Bermuda has and probably has had.”
Added Butterfield: “We ran track last night and he’s definitely a class above me, even after his injury.
“I still get a huge satisfaction out of seeing someone like him run.
“He makes it look easy and everyone wants someone in front of them to chase and set the bar higher and that’s what Chris has done for local running in Bermuda.”