Butterfield’s Orderly Results: Tyler Scores Another Step Up At Ironman 70.3 Worlds

September 12, 2017 – Professional triathlete Tyler Butterfield logged another world-class performance to score seventh place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sunday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, his best 70.3 World Championship finish to date. The result marked Butterfield’s steady progression through the top ten at the championship event, having finished ninth in 2013,, eighth in 2015, and now seventh in 2017, and bodes well for his fitness in the final five-week lead into the Ironman World Championship on October 14th in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. His corresponding Kona finishes in those years were his best to date—seventh in 2013 and fifth in 2015—showing a pattern of success when tackling the 70.3 Championship prior to the Ironman World Championship, his primary focus for several years now.

Butterfield clocked 25:20 in the 1.2-mile swim, emerging with the main group of men containing all the key contenders outside of swim leaders Ben Kanute, the eventual second- place finisher, and Javier Gomez, prolific triathlon champion and silver medalist at the Olympic Games, who went on to win.

Ten men—including Butterfield and Ironman world record holder Tim Don—rode in the chase pack, with hard-charging Sebastian Kienle, a two-time victor at the race, coming from behind. Entering T2, Butterfield was in third; within 30 seconds a flurry of six other top rivals flew in and out of transition and quickly sorted themselves out on the road ahead, with Butterfield now running in sixth. Gomez, known for his spectacular run speed, made quick work from further back in the field to knock off every forward challenger and claim the world title. Butterfield held steady and strong, and ultimately crossed the line in seventh with a 1:17:32 half marathon and 3:56:22 finish time.

“I wasn’t able to put in my usual attacks on the bike. It was hard enough just being there! Racing at this level gets more and more competitive every year. I looked around and everyone in the group was a world title holder, world record holder, or at least someone who has won a lot of races. You can’t just get away from these guys whenever you like,” said Butterfield.

“I also wanted to wait and test my run,” he continued. “I wanted to really get a feel for my run fitness in advance of Kona—something you can’t fully gauge outside of a race environment. I haven’t had the opportunity to get in the run training I’d like for a number of years—partly because of injury, but now, looking back, also because of where we lived.”

For more information please visit Butterfieldracing.com

Since the family’s move from their mountain home to a farm in rural Boulder County, Butterfield has been able to run straight out the door, rather than spend time driving to and from town. Living at a lower altitude (5,600 feet, as opposed to 7,400 feet) has also allowed him to cope with a higher workload. Additionally, he has found that the convenience of being able to go home between sessions has helped his recovery.

“I was a little disappointed with my run, considering the training I’ve had. It was solid, but nothing special. Really, I should be running only a little slower than that for an entire marathon if I want to be in the mix in Kona,” said Butterfield, who averaged 5:55 minute miles in Sunday’s race. “I’m not sure if I was still a little tired from the training. I certainly gave this race the respect it deserves and came in tapered, but I think I may have carried in a bit too much long-term fatigue. I’m hoping I can get in the remaining training I need in the next five weeks, as well as shake some of the residual tiredness from my Kona overload. It’s kind of hard to do both at once—get fitter and fresher—but I’ll try.”

Butterfield indeed appears to be on track for another impressive race on the Big Island, as evidenced by a steady pattern of improving results. His 2017 regular season performances started with fourth at Ironman 70.3 Dubai, then third at the Ironman North American Championship, followed by second at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey, and finally a win at Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. This pattern of improvement also shows in his Ironman 70.3 World Championship progression—ninth in 2013, eighth in 2015, and seventh in 2017—and in his Kona performances, where he finished seventh in 2013 and fifth in 2015.

“I guess I like to keep my results orderly,” joked Butterfield. “In all seriousness, I do like the steady progress upward. It’s rewarding to see the results of all the hard work, as my entire family sacrifices year-round to help me be the best I can be. Hopefully with the focused training I’ve had so far and the time remaining, I can continue to improve all the way into Kona.”

Butterfield now heads back home to Colorado for his final Kona training block, with five short weeks remaining until the Ironman World Championship.

TOP TRIATHLETES FROM AROUND THE WORLD HEAD TO THE SCENIC CITY TO COMPETE IN 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

90 countries, regions and territories represented in Chattanooga, Tennessee for 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, taking place on Sept. 9 and 10.

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 1, 2017) — Approximately 4,500 of the world’s top athletes will head to the “Scenic City” on September 9 and 10 to compete in the 2017 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship. The event returns to U.S. soil for the first time in four years, and also marks the first time that the event will take place over two days. IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holding company, has produced this world-class event since 2006, with global rotation beginning in 2014.

“With its dramatic backdrop, striking riverfront and fast swim course through the Tennessee River, Chattanooga is well-equipped to play host to the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship this September,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “This is a historic year for this event with the largest athlete field ever for any IRONMAN 70.3 event, while also creating a first with a two-day IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship allowing for focus of the female race on Saturday and male race on Sunday. We look forward to providing our athletes with an exceptional race experience in this great host location.”

With athletes hailing from 90 countries, regions and territories, North America leads the way with 52 percent of the athletes registered to race in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Following North America, Europe accounts for 25 percent, while Asia-Pacific accounts for 12 percent of the field.

The United States of America is the most represented nation with 1,853 registered competitors, followed by Canada (264), Australia (232) and the United Kingdom (213). Other athletes from countries as far as Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Serbia are traveling around the globe for their shot at the title.

This year, returning age group champions from the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on the women’s side include Janine Willis (CAN), Katrine Amtkjaer Nielsen (DNK), Lesley Tuggle (USA) and Raeleigh Harris (AUS). On the men’s side, returning age group champions include Brian Boyle (NZL), Harry Barnes (CAN), Rodolphe Von Berg (BEL) and Ryan Giuliano (USA).

With breathtaking scenery, Chattanooga is a supreme location for a fall sporting event. The 2017 field of athletes will tackle a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) ocean swim in the Tennessee River, followed by a 56-mile (90 km) bicycle ride through Lookout Mountain and into downtown Chattanooga, capped with a 13.1-mile (21 km) run through Downtown Chattanooga along the Tennessee Riverwalk and Riverfront Parkway, finishing at Ross’s landing – all of which must be completed before an eight-and-a-half-hour cutoff time.

In order to qualify for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, more than 185,000 age-group athletes competed to earn slots at over 100 IRONMAN 70.3 events held worldwide.

IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships: Men’s Race

Chattanooga, TN

 

Known throughout the Southeastern U.S. as the Scenic City due to its proximity to Lookout Mountain, striking riverfront and vibrant downtown, Chattanooga lures athletes with its dramatic backdrop, idyllic weather and low-key southern charm. Already host to annual IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events, Chattanooga provides a fast course with a swim in the Tennessee River. Four bridges cross the river over the swim and a pedestrian Riverwalk runs along the entire swim course making it ideal for spectators. Chattanooga is full of attractions, eclectic dining spots and great places to stay.

“We are extremely excited that our community was chosen to host the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Championship,” said Bob Doak, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Chattanooga is one of six cities in the country to host both an IRONMAN and an IRONMAN 70.3; Chattanooga is 1 of 10 cities in the world to host both an IRONMAN and an IRONMAN 70.3; and Chattanooga is the ONLY city on the planet to host an IRONMAN, an IRONMAN 70.3 and two days of IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship racing. That’s impressive. We would not have been able to do this without the existing strong partnership with IRONMAN and the dedication and support of the entire community.”

 

Event details here

Top triathletes descend on Chattanooga for IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds

CHATTANOOGA/TAMPA (Aug. 16, 2017) – Triathlon’s top talent will come together in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the 2017 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship taking place on September 9 and 10. Boasting one of the most competitive professional fields in the sport, the event will make history in the Southeastern U.S. this September with the women’s field racing on Saturday and the men’s field racing on Sunday.

“The professional field set to compete is unquestionably one of the deepest in recent history,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “Chattanooga will no doubt be an excellent host to the best talent from around the world as they converge on the Scenic City next month. We are all extremely excited to debut this new two-day format allowing for both women and men to have their day of competition and celebration.”

Returning to the lineup to defend her title will be 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Holly Lawrence (GBR). With victories already this year at the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championship, St. George, IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside, IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa, and Subaru IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant, Lawrence’s flawless season has proven that she will yet again be tough competition in an impressive professional field.

The 2014 and 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion and defending IRONMAN World Champion, Daniela Ryf (CHE) will be looking to add a third IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title in four years. Also vying for the title will be 2011 and 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship winner and last year’s IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship runner-up Melissa Hauschildt (AUS). Ryf and Hauschildt both have an opportunity to become the first triathletes to win three IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship titles and will push the pace for the rest of the field.

Challenging these world champions is a group of talented women looking to break through, led by likes of Jeanni Seymour, Laura Philipp and Heather Wurtele, who has been on the podium at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship the past three years.

Below is the pro women’s start list for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship:

BIB LAST FIRST COUNTRY REP
1 Lawrence Holly GBR (United Kingdom)
2 Luxford Annabel AUS (Australia)
3 Philipp Laura DEU (Germany)
4 Seymour Jeanni ZAF (South Africa)
5 Crowley Sarah AUS (Australia)
6 Hauschildt Melissa AUS (Australia)
7 Salthouse Ellie AUS (Australia)
8 Pallant Emma GBR (United Kingdom)
9 Wurtele Heather CAN (Canada)
10 Ryf Daniela CHE (Switzerland)
12 Smith Lesley USA (United States of America)
14 Chura Haley USA (United States of America)
15 Kaye Alicia USA (United States of America)
16 Watkinson Amelia NZL (New Zealand)
17 Spieldenner Jennifer USA (United States of America)
18 Brandon Lauren USA (United States of America)
19 Frederiksen Helle DNK (Denmark)
20 Tisseyre Magali CAN (Canada)
21 Huetthaler Lisa AUT (Austria)
22 Seymour Natalie GBR (United Kingdom)
23 Huse Sue CAN (Canada)
24 Morrison Kimberley GBR (United Kingdom)
25 Riveros Barbara CHL (Chile)
26 Roy Stephanie CAN (Canada)
27 Vaquera Judith ESP (Spain)
28 Eberhardt Anna HUN (Hungary)
29 Jerzyk Agnieszka POL (Poland)
30 Riesler Diana DEU (Germany)
32 Wassner Laurel USA (United States of America)
33 Brennan Morrey Ruth USA (United States of America)
34 True Sarah USA (United States of America)
35 Linnell Allison USA (United States of America)
36 Hector Alice GBR (United Kingdom)
37 Tastets Pamela CHL (Chile)
38 Jackson Heather USA (United States of America)
39 Schulz Jenny DEU (Germany)
41 Czesnik Maria POL (Poland)
42 Juhart Monica AUS (Australia)
43 Pomeroy Robin USA (United States of America)
44 Roberts Lisa USA (United States of America)
45 Palacio Balena Romina ARG (Argentina)
46 Lester Sarah AUS (Australia)
47 Joyce Rachel GBR (United Kingdom)
48 Jahn Kirsty CAN (Canada)
49 Furriela Carolina BRA (Brazil)
50 Annett Jen CAN (Canada)
51 Stienen Astrid DEU (Germany)
52 Jalowi Annett DEU (Germany)
53 Cravo De Azevedo Luiza BRA (Brazil)
54 Belanger Valerie CAN (Canada)
55 Wendorff Amanda USA (United States of America)
56 Komander Ewa POL (Poland)
57 Drewett Hannah GBR (United Kingdom)
58 Naeth Angela CAN (Canada)

On the men’s side, an equally determined group will seek to win this year’s title with 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Tim Reed (AUS) returning to defend his title. Sebastian Kienle (DEU), who was the 2012 and 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion and 2014 IRONMAN World Champion, will be looking to become the first man to win three IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship titles. This year’s world championship also sees the return of 2014 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion and 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 runner up, Javier Gomez to the start line after an accident in 2016 sidelined his goals of an Olympic medal in Rio. With a victory in his only IRONMAN 70.3 event this year plus a win and top placings on the WTS circuit, he will bring some top-end speed to the field. Unfortunately, a nagging hip injury and season ending surgery has put the much anticipated debut of two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee on hold for this year.

Below is the pro men’s start list for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship:

BIB LAST FIRST COUNTRY REP
1 Reed Tim AUS (Australia)
2 Appleton Sam AUS (Australia)
4 Don Tim GBR (United Kingdom)
5 Kienle Sebastian DEU (Germany)
7 Dreitz Andreas DEU (Germany)
8 Butterfield Tyler BMU (Bermuda)
9 Mendez Cruz Mauricio MEX (Mexico)
10 Von Berg Rodolphe USA (United States of America)
11 Raelert Michael DEU (Germany)
12 Gomez Javier ESP (Spain)
14 Clavel Maurice DEU (Germany)
15 Reid Taylor CAN (Canada)
16 Costes Antony FRA (France)
17 Collington Kevin USA (United States of America)
18 Hanson Matt USA (United States of America)
20 Gambles Joe AUS (Australia)
21 Tutukin Ivan RUS (Russian Federation)
23 O’Donnell Tim USA (United States of America)
24 De Elias Mario ARG (Argentina)
25 Chevrot Denis FRA (France)
26 Thomas Jesse USA (United States of America)
27 Quinchara Forero Carlos Javier COL (Colombia)
29 Heemeryck Pieter BEL (Belgium)
30 McMahon Brent CAN (Canada)
32 Laundry Jackson CAN (Canada)
33 Jarrige Yvan FRA (France)
34 Chrabot Matt USA (United States of America)
35 Van de Wyngard Felipe CHL (Chile)
36 Weiss Michael AUT (Austria)
37 Cunnama James ZAF (South Africa)
38 Dirksmeier Patrick DEU (Germany)
39 Colucci Reinaldo BRA (Brazil)
41 Wiltshire Harry GBR (United Kingdom)
42 Scott Drew USA (United States of America)
43 Kalashnikov Ivan RUS (Russian Federation)
44 Leiferman Chris USA (United States of America)
45 Plese David SVN (Slovenia)
46 Jolicoeur Desroches Antoine CAN (Canada)
47 Kanute Ben USA (United States of America)
48 Amorelli Igor BRA (Brazil)
49 Cartmell Fraser GBR (United Kingdom)
50 Wurtele Trevor CAN (Canada)
51 Carrillo Avila Alan MEX (Mexico)
52 Watson Eric BHR (Bahrain)
53 Polizzi Alexander AUS (Australia)
54 Otstot Adam USA (United States of America)
55 Crawford Guy NZL (New Zealand)

The 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon will offer a $250,000 total professional prize purse which will be distributed to male and female first through tenth place finishers.

In addition to the competitive professional field, approximately 4,500 registered age-group athletes representing more than 90 countries, territories and regions from around the world are expected to compete at this year’s IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

More than Chapstick – Full story of missed Kona slot due to DQ

mattBy now most Colorado triathletes have heard the story of how local athlete Matt Smith was DQ’d from Ironman Chattanooga and missed out on a Kona slot. Today, after perusing social media threads that indicated there was more to the story, 303 caught up with Matt to learn the full story about how a simple chapstick hand-off would lead to a full disqualification. As it turns out, there is more to the story.

From The Denver Channel:

DENVER – Imagine qualifying for the Super Bowl of your favorite activity and then finding out you can’t go because of…ChapStick.

Denver-area triathlete Matt Smith thought he qualified for the Super Bowl of IRONMAN competition this past weekend at IRONMAN Chattanooga in Tennessee.

“Finished second for the 40-44 age group, by just a couple minutes. In the Top 10 Amateur men,” said Smith. “In my age group there were two spots that qualified for the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.”

But a quick look at the race results shows that Smith did not finish second in his age group after the 2.4-mile swim, 114-mile bike ride (normally 112 for IRONMAN) and 26.2 mile run.

“In our sport, this is the Holy Grail, to go to Kona,” said Smith. “The head referee came up about 10 minutes after I crossed, once I got my wits about me, and let me know that I was disqualified and my results would be stricken from the record for outside assistance during the race.”

While the Denver Channel video interview and story headline focused on the Chapstick (sure makes for a great story), as it turns out that hand off only earned Smith a yellow card and a time penalty. When he crossed the finish line and was told he was disqualified, the reason given was, “there were reports on course of you getting more assistance during the race from outside persons.”

Matt says, “I always believe in being transparent.  My wife Molly was on her bike on the run course. She would ride ahead, just past the next aid station and stop and be there to cheer and support and give me splits. The race is a self seeded course, so you don’t know where competitors are and what your place is. This is not against the rules.” He goes on, “Molly is seasoned IM spectator, she knows the rules. She took it harder than I did. But it may have seemed to others like she was offering support that is not allowed.”

Matt shared this detail with the Denver Channel for their report, but it was not included.

However, it does not change the reason he shared his story to begin with. “I still stand firm in my hope that sharing the story will set an example.  What is important is who you are and how you handle a situation like this, not your results. I’ve seen too many athletes get in the ref’s face – I’ve always said I’ll never argue a penalty.”

Matt chose not to contest or appeal the decision, though many – including one Ironman representative, suggested that he should. “I had that option, but I felt if they’ve made that decision I need to let it stand. I know the refs have a hard time, and they’ve agonized over that decision.”

He concludes, “Our sport gets so consumed with results and aero data… were a bunch of type A geeks, and I really feel like we miss that sometimes in terms of this being a hobby, not something that should define us.”