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Butterfield and Fiddick win half-marathon titles

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Elite Ironman Tyler Butterfield cruised to victory in the Hannover Re/BNAA Half-Marathon, sticking to a pre-race plan to turn in consistent six-minute miles the whole way.

In the end he was a shade off that pace, but with a slight headwind for the first half of the race that was not altogether unexpected. The double Olympian, who last month finished seventh in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, crossed the finish line in one hour 20 minutes and 27 seconds, just over a minute ahead of runner-up Jose Miranda (1.21.58) and Craig Rothwell (1.27.33).

The fastest woman was Victoria Fiddick, who reclaimed the title she won in 2010. Like Butterfield, she had a clear pre-race plan and stuck to it. Her winning time was 1.35.11. Second place went to Krista Dyer in 1.38.31, in third place was Vivienne Lochhead (1.40.01).

In near perfect running conditions a good size field of competitors competed in the half-marathon and 10K races, which started and finished near the Botanical Gardens on South Shore Road. It was the 42nd running of the annual race, the second longest established road race in Bermuda after the May 24 Half-Marathon Derby — which dates back to 1909.

Butterfield and Miranda ran together in the opening miles before Butterfield, who is also the current May 24 champion, began to edge ahead.

The world-class triathlete appreciated having a rival on his tail and within striking range for the whole race. “Jose kept me honest. I kept seeing him at the turnaround points,” said Butterfield, 30. “I was trying to run around six-minute miles and finish in around 1.18. I was close to that pace today.”

Bermudian Butterfield, who is based on Colorado, expressed delight that the Island running scene is thriving. He feels that has been helped by having runners of Chris Estwanik's calibre regularly competing and encouraging others. Butterfield is currently preparing for the Cozumel Ironman in Mexico on December 1.

Runner-up Miranda is focusing on next month's National Cross Country Championships. He was pleased to have stuck with Butterfield in the early stages of the race and kept him in sight until all but the last two miles. “He's one of the greatest athletes this country has produced. It was a privilege to run with him,” he said.

The race plan for women's champion Fiddick involved starting slowing and increasing her pace as the miles went by. It was a new way of racing for the leading master, who is currently building her base mileage in training. “Today was not about the time for me, it was about the pace,” she said.

Senior Master Sylvester Jean Pierre, a previous half-marathon champion, was a comfortable winner in the 10K, crossing the finish line in 39.15, ahead of Glen Wilks (40.57) and Ronae Burgess (41.16). He had also competed in the BNAA cross country series event the previous day. Jean Pierre was in the lead group in the first few miles, but did not follow the half-marathon leaders as they pushed an even faster pace. The 55-year-old said: “At this stage of my life what I'm trying to do is inspire others.”

The fastest woman in the 10K was Deon Breary, also a past winner of the half-marathon, fifth overall in 41.52, beating Alicia Hancock 45.19 and Laura Farge-Lowe (46.56). Breary was part of the lead group for the first mile but ran the remainder of the race making her own pace. “I'm very pleased with my time, and I thought today's conditions were perfect.”

A full marathon of 26.2 miles was also staged, with a small group of runners setting off at 6am, some two hours before the main races. The winner was Gideon Kigotho, yet another former half-marathon winner. His time of 3.15.10 was just six minutes adrift of his personal best. He and runner-up Maritz Theron ran together for the first half of the race before Theron started to suffer shin pains and reduced his pace to cross the line in 3.41.03. Natalie Dyrli defended her women's marathon title, coming third overall 5.01.52.

The oldest competitor in yesterday's races was Reggie Young, 80, who picked up an age category runner-up prize in the 10K after finishing in 1.09.56.

(Photo by Mark Tatem) Tyler Butterfield smiles as he wins the Hannover Re/BNAA Half-Marathon.
Photo by Scott Neil Race winners: Victoria Fiddick and Tyler Butterfield with their Hannover Re/BNAA Half-Marathon trophies.

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Published November 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm (Updated November 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm)

Butterfield and Fiddick win half-marathon titles

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