Butterfield sprints to second in Mexico
Tyler Butterfield capped an extraordinary season with yet another podium display at yesterday’s Ironman Cozumel in Mexico.
In a field of nearly 2,500 male and female triathletes, the Bermudian placed second behind winner Michael Weiss (7:55.23) of Austria in an overall time of eight hours, two minutes and 42 seconds.
Spaniard Eneko Llanos (8:05:21) rounded off the top three.
Butterfield completed the 3.8-kilometre swim in 34 minutes and 12 seconds, the 180km bike stage in four hours, 35 minutes and 14 seconds and 42.4km run in two hours, 49 minutes and 48 seconds to earn himself a deserved place on the podium.
The 30-year old athlete was the sixth swimmer out of the water and managed to move up to second on the bike, a position that he managed to protect after posting the fastest time during the running segment to finish with a bang.
Butterfield’s superb display follows on the heels of his remarkable seventh-place finish at October’s Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
It was the past Male Athlete of the Year award winner’s fourth podium display this season.
Earlier this year, he placed second at the Muncie Ironman 70.3 in Indiana and third at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in the United Arab Emirates and Calgary Ironman 70.3.
Butterfield’s top priority in Mexico was to compete so that he could validate his place at next year’s Ironman World Championships.
He qualified for the event after finishing seventh this year.
“By coming in the top ten, I accumulated enough points to go back the next year, but you have to validate it by doing another full Ironman within 12 months,” Butterfield said in a previous interview with The Royal Gazette. “As long as I finish another triathlon, I qualify for the World Championships in Kona in 2014.”
Butterfield also used yesterday’s event as a warm-up for the upcoming 2014 campaign, which for him commences at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in March.
“I performed in Hawaii and this is an ‘after-performance’ race, a warm-up for next year,” he said. “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.”