Butterfields put rivals in the red
Tyler and Nikki Butterfield claimed a husband and wife one-two in the Tokio Millennium Re Sprint Triathlon in Hamilton yesterday.
The pair have enjoyed several podium finishes during their month-long visit to the Island, with Tyler winning the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby and Nikki finishing second in the women’s race.
Yesterday, the Colorado-based Butterfield’s proved to be a cut above the rest with Tyler winning the race in a time of 58min 15sec while Nikki was the first female, crossing the line in seventh place in 1:06.53.
Tyler, who is sponsored by Tokio Millenium Re along with Nikki, said: “It is thrilling to race here at home in Bermuda and in Tokio Millenium’s backyard.
“The company has stood by me for more years that I can count, so anytime I can include this race on my calendar it’s an honour and a pleasure to be here to support them in return.”
Teenager Tyler Smith further outlined his huge potential by finishing second ahead of third place Jonathan Herring and Tucker Murphy in fourth.
Herring, Murphy and Tyler Butterfield will compete for Bermuda at next month’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Smith’s mother, Karen, was the second fastest female finisher with a tenth place overall.
Nikki, a former ITU Under-23 World Champion, who only returned to training four month’s ago after giving birth to the couple’s second child, Walker, said that she was surprised by her impressive display.
“I thought I might be able to do something like that, but I wasn’t sure if my body would remember how,” Nikki said. “I’ve been doing some running, so I guess that fitness carried me through the swim and bike, too.
“Tokio puts on a great event, so I’m thankful I could find something today.”
Tyler, a two-times Olympian, will now turn his attentions to several overseas races that will serve as stepping stones on the path to the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on October 11.
His first stop will be the in Mexico for the Huatulco Triathlon World Cup on June 15, before heading to France for the Ironman Nice on June 29.
“Ironman Nice is an important piece of my Kona preparation for 2014,” said Tyler, who finished a superb seventh in last year’s Hawaii Ironman. “It is one of the hardest races on the circuit. I respect my competitors and the level required to be successful there.
“I’m not expecting anything special, but I hope to be able to do something solid. I’m hoping I don’t come out of the swim behind as I’ve let my swim drop a little while I’ve been here in Bermuda.”
Nikki, who competed in her maiden May 24 last month, is also considering a comeback with an eye on the inaugural Challenge Bahrain half-distance race on December 7,
“Instead of choosing a race and planning backwards from that, I’m just fitting in what works for our family and then I’ll pick a race when I feel ready,” she said.
n Local competitors Mark Wilcox, Sharon Hammond, Nancy Swartz, Jonny Betts and Chris Gallagher competed at the Eagleman 70.3 Ironman Triathlon in Cambridge, Maryland, at the weekend.
Wilcox finished in a time of 4hr 39min 2sec to place sixteenth in the male 45-49 age group. Jonny Betts clocked 5:08.08 to finish 67th in the 40-44 age group.
Sharon Hammond finished in 6:00.36 to finish 26th in the female 45-49 age division.
Nancy Swartz posted a time of 6:47.16 to finish sixth in the female 40-44 age division. And Chris Gallagher finsihed 252nd in the male 40-44 age category in a time of 7:11.17.
Results, page 14