NINE U.S. ELITE ATHLETES SET TO COMPETE AT ITU WORLD TRIATHLON BERMUDA ON SATURDAY

From USA Triathlon

Kasper earned her first career WTS medal in 2017. Scottie T/ITU Media

Kasper leads American contingent at No. 2 on women’s start list

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Nine U.S. elite athletes are set to compete on Saturday at ITU World Triathlon Bermuda, a first-time ITU World Triathlon Series destination.

The Olympic-distance race covers a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. The action begins with a two-lap swim in the calm waters of Hamilton’s harbor. From there, athletes will complete 10 laps of a 4k bike course along the coastline, climbing and descending the infamous “Corkscrew Hill” with each lap. The four-lap run then takes competitors through the spectator-lined streets of downtown Hamilton and into the National Stadium for the finish.

The elite men race first at 12:06 p.m. ET (1:06 p.m. local time), and the elite women follow at 3:06 p.m. ET (4:06 p.m. local time). Both races will be broadcast live online at triathlonlive.tv. Both races will also air on NBC’s Olympic Channel, with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET.

Six U.S. women will toe the line, led by Kristen Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) at No. 2 on the start list. Kasper has had a strong start to the 2018 season, collecting one gold and one silver in ITU World Cup events in addition to a fourth-place finish at the rainy and technical WTS season opener in Abu Dhabi. Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) will be on the hunt for medals after crashing out of the Abi Dhabi race in March. Zaferes finished the 2017 WTS season ranked third overall, and has 11 career podiums in the series to date.

Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) and Chelsea Burns (Seattle, Wash.) will also be in the mix. Knibb and Spivey each cracked the WTS podium for the first time last year, earning silver medals in Leeds and Edmonton respectively. Cook was the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Edmonton champion and finished last season ranked ninth in the overall WTS standings. Burns has two ITU World Cup podiums to her name, but is still chasing her first WTS hardware.

The women will face a strong international field, headlined by Bermuda’s own two-time ITU world champion Flora Duffy. Duffy won six of the seven WTS races she started last year, and will be hard to beat as she races on the streets of her hometown. Also on the start list is Rachel Klamer of the Netherlands, who is the current WTS leader after taking the win in Abu Dhabi. Other top contenders on the women’s side include 2017 U23 World Championships silver medalist Melanie Santos of Portugal and Canada’s Joanna Brown, who finished the 2017 WTS season ranked seventh overall.

Visit wts.triathlon.org for a complete women’s start list.

Representing the U.S. in the men’s race are Ben Kanute (Phoenix, Ariz.), Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo). All three athletes had outstanding 2017 seasons, and all three earned USA Triathlon Athlete of the Year recognition (Kanute in the non-drafting category, McDowell in the draft-legal/ITU category and Hemming in the U23 category).

Kanute is coming off a strong 2017, highlighted by a second-place finish at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship and a win at the Island House Triathlon. He opened the 2018 season with a top-20 finish at the WTS season opener in Abu Dhabi, and followed that with a silver-medal performance at the Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI North American Championships.

McDowell earned two ITU World Cup medals in 2017, and has shown he is still in good form this year by placing top-10 at two ITU World Cup events in March. Hemming has also raced well to open the season. The 2017 U23 national champion topped the podium at the Clermont CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup in March, and a week later edged Kanute for the win at the Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI North American Championships.

Henri Schoeman of South Africa holds the No. 1 spot on the men’s start list. Schoeman has been unstoppable in 2018, taking the win in Abu Dhabi and earning the Commonwealth Games title a month later. Defending world champion Mario Mola of Spain is in the No. 2 position after placing second to Schoeman in Abu Dhabi. Other top contenders on the men’s start list include 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final winner Vincent Luis and 2017 U23 World Championships silver medalist Dorian Coninx, both of France.

Visit wts.triathlon.org for a complete men’s start list.

ITU World Triathlon Bermuda is the second of nine stops on the circuit this year, including September’s ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Gold Coast, Australia.

Butterfield Wins Bermuda Marathon in 2:27

Always one to recognize and compliment the competition, as well as thanking the cheering crowds, Longmont’s Tyler Butterfield won yesterday’s Bermuda Marathon with grace, and gratitude.

From the Royal Gazette

Tyler Butterfield followed in the example set by Dage Minors in Friday’s Elite Mile when he ran to victory in the Bermuda Marathon yesterday in near-perfect running conditions.

Butterfield, Bermuda’s top male triathlete who returned from his home in Boulder, Colorado to compete for the first time in several years, set the pace after a 1hr 14min time for the first loop on his way to a winning time of 2:27:07 ahead of last year’s winner, Bryan Morseman, of the United States, who clocked 2:28:43. Third was Abu Kebede Diriba, of Ethiopia, in 2:37:44.

“I’ve done one marathon before and that was a 2:42 [time] when I was 21, a good 14 years ago,” Butterfield said after his victory. “I ran a 2:48 in an Ironman, so I knew with a 2:42 I should be able to improve on that.”

Butterfield ran several miles with another local runner, Chayce Smith, who was competing in the Bermuda Half-Marathon.

“Chayce and I ran the first lap together and it was great hearing everyone cheering us on,” Butterfield said. “It was nice to have some locals up the front.

“Bryan led me through the first half and then we ran the first mile or two [second loop] together before I pulled away just after Trimingham Hill.

“There was a slight downhill before the flat to McGall’s Hill and I had speed coming off the hill and just went with it. I thought I might regret it later because it was a little quick. The first lap was a negative split but I have to say there was a lot of people out there cheering. Thank you to the people who come out every year.”

Butterfield and Morseman were tucked in with the Half-Marathon lead pack, before the field started to open up after the two-mile mark and Butterfield carried on to win,

Butterfield still holds the senior schools mile record of 4:27:30, which he set in 1999 when a student at Saltus.

 

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Tyler Butterfield tackling Bermuda Marathon this weekend

From the Royal Gazette

Triathlete Tyler Butterfield will run in Bermuda Marathon Weekend as he continues his preparation for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April.

Butterfield is to return home from Boulder, Colorado, tomorrow and will be among hundreds taking part in the full marathon on Sunday — the final race of the three-day event.

The 34-year-old, whose schedule does not usually allow him to compete in the Bermuda Marathon Weekend, will also take part in the Butterfield & Vallis 5K next weekend, which marks the 100th anniversary of his family’s wholesale business.

“I’m super excited about doing a road race in Bermuda again,” Butterfield said.

“I miss doing May 24, but some years the timing works and others it doesn’t due to other races over here in the United States or internationally.

“I’m pumped to get to do a bit of Bermuda Marathon Weekend, a weekend I used to always look forward to when I lived on the island. I’m not looking at anything special from myself in the marathon; I just want to enjoy it.

“I will be racing off mostly base training and it will be one of my last long, harder runs before I switch to focus on more speed.”

Butterfield left his mark in the schools’ KPMG Front Street Mile races in the early 2000s when he set several records. His schedule will not allow him to return in time to watch those races.

“I would love to come on Thursday to watch the Front Street Mile on Friday night, but I’ve one other sponsor trip I had to do this week, today and tomorrow.”

Butterfield is also looking forward to competing in the Butterfield & Vallis race, along with brother Spencer. He will also be the guest speaker at the Bermuda Triathlon Association’s prize-giving dinner at the Loft at Flanagan’s next Saturday.

“Tickets for that are available at Raceday World, and it should be a fun night talking about modern racing, the old days of triathlon and racing with my dad Jim.

“Then the next day I will be at the Butterfield & Vallis 5k to celebrate the [company’s] 100th anniversary. It’s a perfect distance for everyone to come out and enjoy a family event.

“It’s great to be able to be home for both weekends and three great events. Bermuda always has so much going on.”

Butterfield will then turn his focus to the Commonwealth Games, where he hopes to be a part of a triathlon relay team including Flora Duffy, Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley.

“After this trip to Bermuda, it will be back to Colorado and a training camp in Arizona to start to get ready for Commonwealth Games in April,” he said.

 

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