Butterfield ruled out of Half Marathon Derby
The anticipated showdown between Tyler Butterfield and Lamont Marshall at next week's Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby has been has been dashed after Butterfield confirmed yesterday that he was withdrawing because of a calf injury.
Butterfield, who had back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014, had signed up to compete, but has picked up an injury that will prevent him from making a return to what he calls a “favourite race”. He confirmed yesterday on Instagram that he would not be fit enough to compete next Friday.
“May 24th is one of, if not my favourite, races in the world,” Butterfield posted. “Thanks to all the people and spectators out on the course.
“But after hurting my calf last Sunday I won't be able to race it this year. After two marathons this year my body is pushing back a little. And caught up with me on Sunday in a 20-miler.
“I had the opportunity this year to run in Bermuda once, for Race Weekend, and for Bermuda at Commonwealth Games, which were both amazing. It would have been fun to try to run with Lamont, as I know he is in good shape and after a fast time.
“Even though my heart wants to run, I have to be smart and not risk major damage. I will try a 70.3 [triathlon] the following week, but know the swim and bike will be fine. Wish everyone a great run next week, and excited to watch and cheer everyone on.”
Butterfield, crowned Bermuda's Male Athlete of the Year for a fifth straight year and sixth overall two months ago, was back home recently to see Female Athlete of the Year Flora Duffy win MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda three weeks ago.
The pair were members of Bermuda's team at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia where Butterfield set a new Bermuda marathon record, breaking Ray Swan's 36-year-old national record of 2hr 26min 37sec when he clocked 2:26:29.
Butterfield will be watching the race from the sidelines as his wife, Nikki, has signed up to compete in the women's division, where Deon Breary will be looking to retain her title.
By yesterday afternoon, 694 people had signed up to compete either individually or as part of a relay team.
Among the list is Sean Trott, who is running only his third race in six years. He was second to Chris Estwanik in 2012 and 27th overall in his comeback race in 2015.
Sixteen-year-olds Quincy Kuzyk and Kayla Raymond are competing as seniors for the first time. Both competed in the Heritage Day Junior Classic race, Kuzyk winning the boy's division the past two years. Raymond was third last year in the 13-15 girls.
The Half Marathon Derby has attracted competitors from other sports. This year squash player Micah Franklin will compete along with top golfer Jarryd Dillas, who has signed up for the relay.
Footballers Damon Ming, who was a promising middle-distance runner at school, and Pierre Smith are also competing in the individual race.