Tough test for Butterfield in Utah
Tyler Butterfield will face a stern test this weekend when he competes in the Ironman 70.3 North American Championships in St George, Utah, on Saturday.
Butterfield finished third at the Ironman 70.3 Latin American Championships in Brazil on April 5 and can expect similarly tough opposition when he goes up against the likes of Sebastian Kienle, the 2012 and 2013 Ironman 70.3 world champion from Germany, and Britain's Tim Don, who is a close friend of Butterfield and, like the Bermudian, is based in Boulder, Colorado.
Don claimed gold at the 70.3 Latin American Championships, won bronze at the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championships and was third in this race last year, just seven seconds behind Brent McMahon, the 2013 winner from Canada.
“The North American Championships will have a strong field, but I always want to test myself, so this is a good chance,” said Butterfield.
“I'm not expecting too much, but it is always great to see how things are going and where I'm at.”
The two-time defending Bermuda Day Half-Marathon champion confirmed he won't be back to bid for a third straight title as he is set to compete in the Ironman Brazil on May 31. Ben Hoffman, of the United States, who was the silver medal-winner at the 2014 Ironman World Championships, is also one to watch this weekend.
Canadian Lionel Sanders, fourth at last year's 70.3 World Championships, Australia's Tim Reed, who was seventh at last year's World Championships, and Tim O'Donnell, the American who was second at this month's Latin American Championships, will be the other main contenders.
Between 2009 and 2012, Andreas Raelert, of Germany, finished second twice and third twice at the Ironman World Championships and was second at the 2008 Ironman 70.3 World Championships before winning the 2010 Ironman European Championships.
Saturday's race starts at 10am Bermuda time.
n Alex Pilgrim races on Sunday in the USA Youth Elite Triathlon in Virginia, which is for athletes aged between 13 and 15.
In last year's race Pilgrim, 14, placed thirteenth. The Youth Elite race, along with the Junior Elite race athletes aged between 16 and 19, is one of only four qualifying races for the USA Elite Youth Championships and the USA Junior Elite Championships, which will be held in West Chester, Ohio, on August 1 and 2.
It has attracted more than 300 elite youth and elite junior triathletes.
Pilgrim's race will start at 1.30pm Bermuda time and will consist of a 375-metres swim, 10-kilometre draft legal bike and 2.5K run.