Role reversal for Butterfields in Utah
Despite having to withdraw from the Ironman 70.3 North American Championships with a calf strain, Tyler Butterfield still had the pleasure of watching his brother Spencer finish his first triathlon for more than 20 years.
Butterfield was in eleventh position when he was forced to pull out of the race less than two miles into the run, having finished the 1.2-mile swim in 25min 35sec and 56-mile bike ride in 2:12:23.
He also suffered misfortune in last year’s race with a mechanical during the bike ride dropping him down the field and he ended up finishing thirteenth.
His disappointment on Saturday was short-lived, however, with 34-year-old Spencer keeping the Butterfield family flag flying proud, placing an impressive fourteenth in the men’s 35 to 39 age group in 5:00:42 to earn the praise of his younger brother.
“I didn’t make it more than 2miles in the run in #stg703 due to late injury,” Butterfield wrote on Instagram. “But was such a rewarding weekend seeing my brother finish his first 70.3 and first triathlon since he was 12 years old!
“Super proud of you Spence! Love your enthusiasm, fun, and just get on with it attitude!
“Tough conditions and you still did an amazing job, Congrats buddy!”
Also competing in the championships in St George, Utah, was Ashley Estwanik, Tyler and Spencer’s cousin, who finished second in the women’s 30 to 39 age group. Her time of 5:05:59 was the thirteenth quickest in the women’s field.
Phil Mace, competing in the 40 to 44 age group, made up for failing to finish last month’s Ironman 70.3 Florida, coming third in his category with an overall time of 4:43:12. Mace was 84th overall and the 75th quickest men’s competitor.
In the women’s 30-34 age group, Kristen Palmer continued to impress after taking ninth in the women’s 30 to 34 category in 5:26:20, while Allison Schindel had a superb race, finishing eleventh in the women’s 35 to 39 age group in 5:24:33.
Aaron Garcia was Bermuda’s other age group finisher taking 34th in the men’s 25 to 29 age group in 5:32:11.
Lionel Scanders of Canada was the overall winner in 3:48:18, while his compatriot Heather Wurtele was the top women’s competitor finishing 4:16:48.