D3 Triathlon Minute, by Coach Brad
D3 Triathlon Minute, by Coach Brad
From The New York Times
A recent NY Times article discussed a study examining how exercise may enhance the effects of brain training.
Exercise broadly improves our memories and thinking skills, according to a wealth of science.
The evidence supporting similar benefits from so-called brain training has been much iffier, however, with most people performing better only on the specific types of games or tasks practiced in the program.
But an interesting new study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience suggests that combining intense exercise and brain training might, over time, amplify the benefits of both for the brain, even in people whose minds already are working well…
… To find out, the researchers decided to study a group of healthy, young college students, a group that would be expected to have robust and vigorous memories. If an experimental program resulted in better memories in these people, the scientists reasoned, it should also have implications for those of us whose aging memories might be starting to stutter and fade…
… In general, the young people who had exercised, whether they also brain trained or not, were then more physically fit than those in the control group. They also, for the most part, performed better on memory tests. And those improvements spanned different types of memory, including the ability to rapidly differentiate among pictures of objects that looked similar, a skill not practiced in the brain-training group.
These enhancements in memory were most striking among the volunteers whose fitness had also improved the most, especially if they also practiced brain training.
In effect, more fitness resulted in stronger memories, Dr. Heisz says, with the brain training adding to that effect, even for a type of memory that was not part of the training.
Read the full article (link)
This is my 3rd trip over to Maui for the race. My first year of getting my feet wet in the Pacific was quite intimidating. I learned a lot and vowed to train hard so I could return in 2016 and actually race, rather than merely participate in the event. While all the training and climbing hills over and over here in the Front Range prepared my legs and lungs, nothing could simulate the waves that crashed way over my 5’2” head, the monsoon rains, or the mud-fest of hike-a-biking on the race course in 2016. Fortunately, life has taught me much about digging in when the going gets tough and how to embrace the moment and laugh at the challenge at hand. (more on that to come) I finished 2nd in the 40-44 age group in 2016 and 7th overall amateur. I am really looking forward to racing Xterra Worlds this year and hope to end a rewarding season of racing on a memorable note.
How did I get into triathlon and find my way into racing off-road? In my life before having children, I was a runner. My husband taught me how to mountain bike while we were dating and we would spend weekends in the mountains camping and playing on the trails. After the birth of our 2nd child, however, our life changed.
My youngest daughter struggled a lot in those early months and years. She had breathing issues for much of her 1st year, spent a lot of time in the hospital hooked up to monitors, didn’t sleep for more than 2 hours continuously at night for over 2 years, and wasn’t reaching developmental milestones that most babies accomplish- no babbling, crawling, walking. When she was 16 months old, daughter’s neurologist called and matter of factly stated that test results confirmed that she had a rare genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome (AS). He didn’t offer any consoling words or advice, just a recommendation to follow up with his office. As soon as I hung up the phone, I did what any parent would do – I flipped on the computer and googled the disorder. Bold, crushing words jumped off the screen at me… life-threatening seizures, no verbal communication, may never walk, sleep disorder, cognitive and developmental delays, requiring 24/7 lifelong care.
My world became very dark, not even the shades of gray that many function in daily, but black. I would get up in the morning after sleepless nights with my daughter, go through the motions of the day, just passing time, hiding from the rest of the world. I let the words I read consume me. I felt like all the beautiful dreams I had for my children and our future had died. My only solace was found in escaping to the trails for a weary run or bike ride. As I pounded the dirt, working my way through those stages of grief, disbelief, hurt, anger and sadness, I started to realize something. I didn’t have to let the darkness control my life. I could run. I could bike. I could do something.
I started dreaming more on the trail. I dreamt of curing Angelman Syndrome -after all, in 2008 it was cured genetically in the mouse model. While children are not mice, the science was there and researchers believed it not only could happen, but with the right funding and research, it could happen in the next 5-10 years. This dream gave me hope. It pushed me onward over the miles, further and faster.
I realized that I could either hide from the world, or let the world get to know me and my child through the sport that I sought comfort in. I signed up for my 1st triathlon, had success in it, so I signed up for another. As my daughter was challenged in therapy to learn how to walk, to communicate, and to feed herself, I challenged myself with bigger races, bigger goals. What has followed in the years since that life-changing phone call has been an adventure more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. While Angelman Syndrome is still not cured and each day at our house presents new challenges, human clinical trials for quite a few therapeutics, including a very promising gene therapy approach to curing AS are just around the corner.
And my racing… I have been fortunate enough to race not only all over the US, but represented Team USA in Canada this past August for ITU Cross Worlds. I won overall amateur female at the Xterra Southeast Championships in Alabama this past May as well as the overall female winner at Xterra Gator Terra in Arkansas the following month, which doubled as USAT’s off-road Nationals. At Cross Worlds this past August, I placed 2nd in my age group to fellow Colorado 40-44 age group super mom and good friend, Jenn Razee of Vail. We finished 3rd and 5th overall amateur women. Jenn will also be racing in Maui. We truly battle it out on the courses and raise each other’s level of competition, which is exciting. We are both coming into Maui with a great lead-up race this year, Xterra Pan-Am Championships at Snowbasin Resort in Ogden, UT last month. For the 2nd year in a row, I finished 1st and Jenn 2nd overall amateur at the PanAm Champs. While we, and probably a few other athletes as well as our coaches (Jenn is coached by Josiah Middaugh and I am coached by his brother, Yaro), wonder who will cross the finish line 1st, we both will know that because of the other, we are stronger, train harder, and will race with everything we have out there… and give each other great big well-deserved hugs at the finish line. That is what I love about racing Xterra and what keeps pulling me back. At the end of the day, after we all cross the finish line, we celebrate each other, our friendships, and this incredible opportunity and life we share.
Katarina Marks, age 25, lives in Durango, CO. I got involved with Xterra triathlons when I got a free entry to a Xterra in my hometown three years ago, I went out, bought a wetsuit and gave it a go! I remember my goggles fogged up so bad that the swim seemed to take forever, the ride was okay- definitely wasn’t trained for it, and then I probably passed about 30 people on the run. It was tough and such a challenge, I think that’s what I enjoyed about it! From that race I qualified for the Xterra USA National Championships and from there, qualified for my first Xterra World Championships. This year will be my third year competing in Xterra World Championships. This year I qualified for Worlds at the Oak Mountain race.
Each year I’ve improved & have had even more fun! My dream is to become a professional Xterra triathlete in the next year. My motivation for competing is that “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 10:31.
Why triathlon? Most people I talk to, say that they would never do a triathlon because “I could never do the swim.” And I want to encourage others to step outside their comfort zones, try something new, it could spark a new dream, try swimming, etc.! Give something new a try, it’ll be fun!
I did my first triathlon when I was twelve years old on a whim, It was called the “YMCA Strong Kids Triathlon” and I only knew it existed because my neighbors were signed up. I did not do another triathlon for a handful of years following that first one as I needed some time to forget about how I almost drowned and threw up simultaneously during the 100 meter swim. As a high school runner and swimmer it was on my radar as a possible progression of my athletic career. At the University of Colorado I raced on the triathlon team for 4 years and solidified my love of the sport. I always said I would never race an Ironman but following Every Man Jack team camp in February I softened to the idea as it provided a great opportunity to spend more time with my teammates. Later my Dad mentioned he would love to go to Hawaii and I was pretty much sold. A few months later I was on the start line at Ironman Santa Rosa.
Olympic is my favorite distance to race, short and sweet.
This will be my first time racing in Kona and I am super excited to be doing so as a member of the Every Man Jack Triathlon Team
Iain started his endurance sports journey back in 2010 during a family vacation to Machu Pichu where he realized that through his focus on a Corporate career that the fitness of his youth had long since dissipated, so started a commitment to fitness and running and in turn Triathlon. Iain now lives in Boulder Colorado where he is Managing Director at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-profit working to hasten a transition to a clean energy system. Iain has completed the last 5 Boston Marathons, 5 full Ironman events with his second appearance at Kona coming up in 2017.
The voice of IRONMAN, Mike Reilly joined 303Radio and shared many stories about why he loves IRONMAN so much. Learn about his respect for the brand, and the athletes. Learn his thoughts on the Colorado culture, living in the moment, and what he his thinking when he sees athletes finishing. Understand his genuine spirit and why you “feel” him when he says, “You are an Ironman” – he really means it! He says there are two keys to success: 1) When “ego is not involved with what they are doing,” and, 2) “How the greatest thing we as people can do is make someone happy.” So much wisdom from Mike on life!
With my hand clasped around the door handle to the gym, I pulled it off and walked away. Inside the other players were warming up for tryouts for a high school basketball team that would eventually be nationally ranked. A team I would’ve made, not played much necessarily, but still it would’ve been a helluva journey. By our senior year, every player was offered some type of scholarship. Instead, I walked the opposite way down the long shiny tiled hall decorated with pictures of all the all-star athletes that had played sports at Wheat Ridge high school. I felt a bit defeated, maybe embarrassed and definitely unsure if I made the right decision. I kept convincing myself I would focus on soccer, a sport I loved too, but not as much as basketball. But at 5’10 I weighed the potential, maybe of playing in college, and chose “my sport.” I never formally competed in basketball again. I was 16. I had given up my driveway dream of playing for a living, and living my dream – and I had barely learned to drive.
I followed logic, not my heart or my passion, and at some point I discovered this life-changing decision. To this day I believe I would’ve probably ended up at some small junior college trying to “make it” on the court. The butterfly effect of that decision is enormous. What major I chose, what woman I would marry, what child I would have, and on and on. And relative to you, the audience of 303triathlon, you probably would never be reading my thoughts as I travel to cover my third IRONMAN World Championships. The consequences of THAT decision also determined what friends I made, what jobs I chose, and ultimately what sport I would choose to try. It was friends who introduced me to triathlons, and ultimately one friend in particular (who is competing in Kona this year by the way), who in 2010 made me curious enough to try my first IRONMAN, and to understand its madness.
The “decision,” as I refer to my teenage forked path away from basketball, for a while weighed on me as a regret; but as experiences often transform into wisdom, I began to dissect “the decision.” I have concluded that the real regret was being afraid to try. I did make the sophomore team, so there was no reason to think I wouldn’t make the junior team. It wasn’t the failure of not making the team, but maybe it was the failure of not making my dream of the NBA. I probably knew that was almost impossible but was afraid to try. Wisdom also tells me I simply let myself down, and I defied my passion, and my heart. I think from that day forward any time I have ever made a decision that makes me feel like I did that day, it has not worked out for me. I have come to learn that feeling, and it is my compass and has been for over 35 years.
It was that moment in the school hallway, pondering my basketball future, that I have come to appreciate as a moment that has driven my overachieving nature. My never can’t-do attitude. My “chip on my shoulder,” so speak. As years passed and I continued to play hours and hours of pickup basketball and organized soccer until my early 40’s, I began to focus more on cycling as I liked the adventure of it and chance to challenge my strength in new ways. I was always a decent runner, and I learned to swim, and eventually I did my first triathlon in 2008 in Steamboat Springs—an Olympic distance race. In 2010 I did IRONMAN Arizona followed by Cozumel, Canada, Arizona and Boulder three times.
I wrestle with IRONMAN all the time, and that feeling of logic-versus-passion constantly eats at me. Of the seven IRONMANs I have finished, in five of them I had results that left me feeling like I had done well—at least in comparison to others. Two years ago I stepped onto the podium in 5th place in my age group, missing Kona by one spot. I almost made it to Kona as an athlete and I relished the thought of Kona in 2016, but that never happened. I have mixed feelings as to wanting to compete again to try and qualify. I raced an Olympic distance this year for fun, and as I get further from the fitness needed to be at the top in IRONMAN distance, it gets easier and easier to let go of the dream of Kona.
If I’m really honest with myself, I suppose, I don’t dream of competing in Kona enough right now to endure the effort to get there. I’m fortunate to have the athletic ability to make a few mistakes and still do well with triathlon, but let’s face it, to qualify for Kona takes an almost perfect race and a perfect season of training to go with it. It is tough to qualify— we all know that. But the mental edge needed to push through the pressures of discipline and enduring the time and often the pain that goes with it, separates the contenders from the pretenders, as they say.
Honestly, I think Kona was an excuse more than a goal, at least at first. The journey of my why, my why for even signing up for IRONMAN Arizona in 2009 and ultimately pushing my limits to where I actually had a shot at Kona span a spectrum of motives and reasons.
It began as a curiosity wondering if indeed I could do what my friend had been doing to finish a full distance race. Training then morphed into a lifestyle that allowed me use training as a partial excuse to hide from other life challenges. But, because I was showing promise, to myself I suppose, I let it rule my life. I think I over-hyped my need to train to avoid some responsibilities and obligations, and I often both ends of the candle. In the wake of my transition from wanna-be-triathlete to age group contender, my marriage blew up and my life took a different course. One of major discovery. But, I gained perspective and a true appreciation of the sport and once I began to resolve some personal issues, I realized the constant of IRONMAN training, when properly balanced and executed, opened up other doors. I made many friends, and rather than dedicating my existence to “using triathlon” to run away, I embraced it. I reached a new plateau of speed and enjoyment. I loved it so much that I wanted to make my career line up with my passion for training and competition and help inspire others to reach for their dreams and potential.
I had my two best seasons in 2014 and 2015 and came to Kona with a semi-sweet attitude in 2015, feeling like I could so easily be competing and not taking pictures and writing stories. I wasn’t upset, just pulled emotionally in many directions. But I landed at home ready to tear up 2016 and come back to toe the start line. It wasn’t meant to be and my race in Boulder didn’t go as planned. But, I came back to Kona to be a journalist in 2016, and it was in that trip I came to grips to with my dream to race here.
While this race collects the best athletes in the world, it still is just a race. It still hurts; it’s still a lot to prepare for, it’s not cheap and I’m not convinced competing in it, for me anyways, is that much more exciting than celebrating it as a part of the triathlon community. I love part of the fabric that matters, and my heart is in telling the stories and applying my “why” to the lens I report through.
My hand is firmly gripped on the camera and keyboard and I am opening the door to the gym of possibilities that is my life. I have conquered IRONMAN, I have proved to myself I can compete. Competing here doesn’t make me a better person or even a better athlete. Being here lets me share my wisdom with you. I get the race. I get what the athletes endure. Not racing here doesn’t take away from my ability to see beyond surface of this race.
Someday I may return to racing full distance IRONMANs but only if I want to qualify to be here. For me there is no other reason to try. But right now Kona calls my mind, my eye for photos, and my use of the English language. I’m cool with that. My dream is to be a story teller. That’s what my heart wants to do. Remember, I learned to listen to my heart when I was 16, I’m not gonna stop now.
I offer you this window into my perspective, my journey so that as you read my accounts of this race experience over the next few days you will know where I am coming from!
TAMPA, Fla. (September 28, 2017) – Triathlon’s top professional talent will convene in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on October 14 for the 41st edition of the IRONMAN® World Championship, the most iconic one-day endurance event in the world. Leading one of the most competitive and talented professional fields in race history, Jan Frodeno (DEU) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) will both be looking to win their third-straight IRONMAN World Championship title.
“As we approach four decades of racing at the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawai`i, the level of global competition is as strong as it has ever been,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “With a field of such fine professional athletes competing again this year, I am certain we will see another spectacular race.”
The women’s professional field will have their sights set on two-time IRONMAN World Champion and now three-time IRONMAN® 70.3® World Champion, Daniela Ryf (CHE). Also vying for the title is last year’s third-place finisher Heather Jackson (USA), who will be looking repeat as the top American finisher for a third straight year. Sarah Crowley (AUS), who broke through with a win at the 2017 IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns in June, and again just a month later with a victory at the IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt, will also be looking to challenge for a podium spot. Kaisa Sali (FIN), who finished fifth in her IRONMAN World Championship debut last year, intends to use her blistering run speed to move up a few notches in her second go on the Island of Hawai`i.
Among other seasoned competitors headlining the female group are Michelle Vesterby (DNK), one of the most consistent performers at the IRONMAN World Championship and winner of the 2017 KMD IRONMAN Copenhagen; Susie Cheetham (GBR), who is coming off a strong win at the 2017 IRONMAN South American Championship, and exciting newcomer Lucy Charles (GBR), fresh off a dominating win at the 2017 IRONMAN Lanzarote and a runner-up finish at the IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt.
Below is the pro women’s start list for the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship:
The men’s group is equally crowded with titleholders and contenders, including two-time reigning IRONMAN World Champion and one of the most dominant triathletes of all time, Jan Frodeno (DEU). The 2008 Olympic gold medalist will seek a third title at Kona to further cement his legacy. Frodeno’s fellow German rival, 2014 IRONMAN World Champion Sebastian Kienle (DEU), finished second last year with the eighth-fastest time in the history of this race (8:10:02) and will be attempting to reclaim a spot atop the podium. Both will also be keenly aware of the third German in the bunch, Patrick Lange, who burst onto the scene in not-so-subtle fashion by posting a 2:39:45 time in the marathon portion, breaking a 27-year-old IRONMAN World Championship run-course record to earn third place in his Kona debut.
Outside of the Germans who look to keep hold of the podium, fans around the world are sure to keep their eyes on veteran triathlete Tim Don (GBR) who shattered the IRONMAN world record with a flawless race at the 2017 IRONMAN South American Championship in Brazil, finishing in 7:40:23 in May. Adding pressure onto the field will be Lionel Sanders (CAN) who has been dominant in IRONMAN 70.3® competition, amassing 16 wins over the past four seasons, including an almost flawless record in 2017 with victories at IRONMAN 70.3 events in Pucon, Buenos Aires, Oceanside and Mont-Tremblant. Rising-star Josh Amberger (AUS) will make his debut in Kona after capturing the 2017 IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns in May. Two-time IRONMAN African Champion and 2014 IRONMAN World Championship runner-up Ben Hoffman (USA) will look to improve upon his fourth-place finish from a year ago. Fellow Americans Tim O’Donnell and Andy Potts, who respectively earned third and fourth place finishes in the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship, will join Hoffman in competing to become the first IRONMAN World Champion from America since 2002 (Tim DeBoom).
Below is the pro men’s start list for the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship:
The 2017 IRONMAN World Championship will offer a $650,000 total professional prize purse which will be distributed to male and female first through tenth place finishers.
In addition to the competitive professional field, more than 2,400 registered age-group are registered to compete in this year’s IRONMAN World Championship. The largest international athlete field in this race’s history represents 66 countries, regions and territories on six continents. Athletes ranging in age from 18 to 84 have earned their championship opportunity by having finished among the best at one of more than 40 qualifying IRONMAN events worldwide.
Sarah Thomas was born to swim. She picked up the sport at age seven and has been swimming pretty much ever since. This past July, she broke her own world record, swimming 104 miles in Lake Champlain, from Rouses Point, New York, to Vermont and back again. Her solo swim was unassisted, non-wetsuit, and current neutral. The water was also full of lampreys. I wasn’t sure what a lamprey was, so I looked them up. Yeah, they are the stuff of nightmares. I recently wrote about my fears of swimming in open water without a wetsuit because of the perils of lake or ocean creatures; Sarah clearly does not have those same concerns.
As I was swimming laps this morning, I was mentally tracking how long I would have to be in the pool to cover 104 miles. The answer? A really long time. It took Sarah 67 hours, 16 minutes, and 12 seconds. Five hours faster than she expected. Three nights, two sunrises. Not only was this a phenomenal physical feat, it was also a mental one. While Sarah has a crew on her long, nay, mammoth swim challenges, she is swimming alone. The mental resilience needed to conquer the mind games that occur is mighty.
Her epic 104 mile swim sits on the shoulders of the many other awe-inspiring open water marathon swim challenges she has completed over her thirty-five years. After her first marathon open water swim in Horsetooth Reservoir (a 10K), her swimming world expanded. She met some Catalina Channel swimmers and decided she would give that race a try in 2010. Catalina is an island off the coast of Los Angeles and the channel from the island to the mainland is about 21 miles. Although she finished the swim, she reflected on what a tough experience it was for her. The swim began around midnight, and she hadn’t done a good job of prepping, and then executing, her nutrition plan leading to her ‘crashing’ in the last four hours. There was a significant cross wind and she just couldn’t find her rhythm. Sarah finished the race in just over nine hours, which is still a pretty fast pace. She described to me the aftermath with a chuckle. It included an inability to lift her arms over her head for a week, a swollen tongue from all the salt water, and chafing in places she didn’t even know you could chafe. And so she decreed: “This is it, I’m done.” Famous last words.
For any non-endurance athletes reading this, what usually happens is we routinely declare that we are one and done on these mammoth athletic exploits. And then the amnesia sets in. Sometimes it takes a few days, or perhaps a couple of weeks. But before long, the narrative changes and the race that was so horrific morphs into something not so bad. This softening of our feelings towards an endurance event inevitably leads us to sign up for another one. And that is what Sarah did. She signed up to swim across the English Channel.
In preparation for her English Channel swim, Sarah completed a 28.5 mile swim around Manhattan Island (2nd woman/5th overall) and the Tampa Bay Marathon swim (she won this race, although swimmers were pulled early because of a storm). Then, on a clear, sunny day in 2012, Sarah swam from England to France in just over 11 hours. “I swam with joy the entire way,” she said. When she got to the shore in France, the clientele from a local restaurant had come to the beach to cheer her on. The restaurateur handed her a glass of champagne as she walked from the water. It was a “magical moment” she reminisces. On finishing the English Channel swim, Sarah was now a proud member of the Triple Crown club — swimmers who’ve successfully completed the English Channel, Catalina Channel, and Manhattan Island swims.
Sarah’s other open water accomplishments include swimming the length of Loch Ness in Scotland (no monster sightings, I am afraid), an out and back across Lake Tahoe (she was the first swimmer and woman to do this) and swimming across Lake Memphremagog in Newport, VT. Originally, this was a 25 mile race but the race director called her to see if she wanted to do 50 miles–an out and back. “I’m never one to back down from a challenge” she declared confidently. This was her first 50 mile swim, and a tough one mentally: “I had to really dig deep.” And, her resilience paid off; she was the first ever swimmer to complete the 50 mile swim. Sarah has accrued an impressive litany of firsts. And her next challenge, because yes, you can top a 104 mile world record breaking swim, could be another. In September 2019, she will attempt to swim the English Channel crossing four times—England-France-England-France-England. Swimmers have tried, but no one yet has been triumphant.
Sarah Thomas is a formidable force in open water marathon swimming and one of the top competitors in the country from right here in land-locked Colorado. One of the insights she shared, and one that has stuck with me since we met, is that in every race, experience, or adventure, there is always something to learn. So often we close our minds, and doom ourselves to repeat the same missteps over and over. We have to allow for those moments to teach us. Humility is how we become better at what we do.
If you’d like to learn more, you can follow Sarah’s swimming adventures and progress on her official Facebook page.
303Triathlon has been fortunate to work with Tyler and Nikki Butterfield over the past 3+ years. During this time, we have watched as Tyler has become a successful triathlete. In chatting with Nikki recently, I heard no signs of regret or doubt in her decision to step away from a career as a professional triathlon to be a full time mom of 3, wife and business manager for Tyler. As they settle into life on the ‘farm’, Nikki has recently been able to find time to get out and do some running again .
August 23, 2017 – A number of changes, both professionally and personally, have proven beneficial to pro triathlete Tyler Butterfield’s 2017 racing season. Starting with a fourth place finish in January, Butterfield steadily progressed to a victory in June, and now has his sights set on another top performance at the Ironman World Championship in October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Butterfield kicked the cobwebs off in early 2017 at Ironman 70.3 Dubai, finishing fourth amid a world-class field. Next up was the Ironman North American Championship in The Woodlands, Texas, where Butterfield broke the eight-hour mark to earn third on the podium. He clocked a finish time of 7:58:29, holding off hard-charging rival and fourth-place finisher Will Clarke by 33 seconds. Butterfield’s upward trajectory continued in May at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey, the Pan American Pro Championship, where he scored second place, just 25 seconds shy of the win and bested only by men’s champion Kevin Collington.
In June, Butterfield headed to Ironman 70.3 Raleigh, where his run came into winning form. After a battle on the bike among the leading men, Butterfield started the half marathon more than three minutes in arrears to Andrew Yoder. He steadily gained ground, however, making the pass to claim the lead two thirds of the way into the run leg. His 3:53:22 finish ultimately gave him a 1:48 cushion over runner-up Yoder. This steady string of four impressive results was due in part to a focused winter where Butterfield—in contrast to prior years—avoided taking on too much travel and was able to get in sync in a solid training routine at home in Boulder, Colorado.
Butterfield also started June’s Ironman Boulder, intending to tackle the local course as a training exercise. Unfortunately, a slice in his tire while riding in third place derailed his plan. Butterfield awaited a local friend, who kindly secured a training wheel and helped him get back on the road after a 20-minute delay. In accepting “outside assistance” from his friend, Butterfield effectively withdrew from the competition, as athletes may only receive help from race officials; however, intent on making the most of the situation and logging a hard practice day, he continued. After 10 miles of the marathon—enough of an effort to justify time off during an upcoming holiday in Bermuda—he called it a day and pulled off the course.
The Butterfield family then traveled to Tyler’s native Bermuda for a two-week stretch to enjoy a family reunion and watch the America’s Cup sailing championship. Since late June, Butterfield has been back in Boulder, hard at work preparing for two world championship events: the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee (September 9th) and the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona (October 14th).
Although Butterfield has spent more time grounded in Boulder than in years past, his family and home life has still seen several exciting and unusual changes in 2017. Baby Grace, the Butterfield’s third child, was welcomed into the family on January 12th, joining sister Savana and brother Walker. With a desire for space for their children to be outside and a growing passion for animals, the Butterfields moved from their mountain home to a hobby farm in Longmont, Colorado, where they’ve accumulated a large population of animals including five horses, three llamas, seven goats, a dozen chickens, two guinea fowl, two dogs and two cats. The children are thriving on farm life and Nikki (Tyler’s wife and retired pro triathlete) has her hands full with activities as diverse as mucking out horse stalls, bottle feeding baby goats, and assisting in the delivery of a baby llama (with Tyler’s help, as well). When not swimming, cycling, or running, Tyler is occasionally found driving a tractor.
The family will leave the farm temporarily in October to attend the Ironman World Championship, joining Butterfield’s parents, brother, uncle, and aunt, who make the journey annually. Nikki and the children have been in Kona in alternate years (depending on whether or not Nikki has been pregnant at the time), which seem to correspond to Tyler’s success on the island; they were there as support for his seventh place in 2013 and fifth place in 2015, while they had to skip the race in 2014 and 2016, when he did not finish. The entire family is hopeful that the year on/year off pattern continues for this year at least, and that with everyone on hand to cheer, 2017 will prove the best year yet for Butterfield.
For more information please visit Butterfieldracing.com
Saturday August 12th
Sunday August 13th
Thursday August 10th
Colorado Springs stage
Denver Expo and party
Friday August 11th
Breckenridge – Men’s Race
Denver – Women’s Race
Saturday August 12th
Second Annual FoCo Fondo’s Bite the Bullet Gravel Fondo in Fort Collins, Colorado, hosted at New Belgium Brewing. Fort Collins first Gravel Fondo!
Here’s the short and simple:
Remote gravel roads, open spaces, heavily stocked aid stations, rolling technical support, timed segments with cash prizes, New Belgium beer, food truck meals. The Start/Finish venue will be at New Belgium Brewing. Short and long routes.
Registration is LIVE, long route fee $55 for June, $60 for July, $70 for August, $10 cheaper for short route.
Molas Pass, Silverton
Sunday August 13th