Most Compelling IRONMAN Ever in Boulder, Here’s Why

By Bill Plock

IRONMAN Boulder 70.3 is usually a big deal. And it usually is one of the biggest races in all of IRONMAN. But the 2021 race might be the most compelling ever. Especially in the pro field. 47 men and 37 women will by vying for spots not only in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, but some will be battling to get a spot at the coveted PTO Collins Cup in Slovakia on August 28th with some major money and notoriety at stake. Boulder is the last qualifying race for the Collins Cup.

The field is stacked with some top pro‘s like Sam Long, Sam Appleton, Chris Leiferman, Tyler Butterfield (all live and train in Boulder) all ranked in the top 30 in the world. Sam Long is the number one ranked American (according to PTO rankings) while Sam Appleton is the third ranked International for the Collins Cup. Chris Leiferman is 5th for the Americans and 1 point out of being an automatic qualifier. If he has a good race he could jump ahead of Ben Kanute and automatically make the team. Tyler Butterfield is 5th for the Internationals.

For the women it’s equally compelling with Skye Moench the number one ranked American battling Britains Emma Pallant, the sixth ranked European and Jeanni Metzler the fourth ranked International. Jeanni is barely ahead of Australia’s Sarah Crowley in the Collins Cup ranking and will need to have a good race to keep her automatic spot. That should create some exciting dynamics where the race matters on many levels. Meredith Kessler and Lesley Smith, ranked 7th and 8th for the American team and Emma Pallant who is 6th for the European team have a lot to possibly gain by good showings in Boulder. And lastly, keep an eye out for Chelsea Sodaro, she is ranked 11th in the world but hasn’t raced this season due to maternity leave. But with the PTO’s policy on holding rank, with a good showing at Boulder, she could be heading to the Collins Cup as well. 

The PTO’s Collins Cup will take the top four athletes automatically and two more will be chosen by the captains of the US team, the European team and the International team.

Throw into all of that, you have Taylor Knibb fresh off her silver medal performance in Tokyo racing. She is not known as a 70.3 athlete, but with her speed, youth and fitness coming off the Olympics, she could really make things interesting.

But there are many pro’s in field who also live in Boulder and no doubt some fun rivalries and hometown pride will keep it close. If there were odds, Sam Long would probably be favored but don’t be surprised is someone else is on top of the podium with so many factors at play. 

Keep an eye out for Olympian Andy Potts who is participating in the upcoming Paralympics guiding for Kyle Coon and is at the top of his game. Boulders Justin Metzler, Joe Gambles, and Kennett Peterson might emerge near the lead as well, and keep an eye out for Speedo sensation, Boulder native Colin Laughery who always relishes a chance to race at home.

And for Sam Long, born in raised in Boulder, in his most recent video getting ready for this race he says, “I’m the hometown boy coming after this race.” This was Sam’s first pro race years ago and he says he hasn’t had his best race in Boulder yet. He would like to make this years race his best Boulder effort since his first one as an 18 year old in 2014. Fun video here with many of the pro’s and a brief discussion with race director Julie Coleman

The race can be watched on IRONMAN Live here starting tomorrow at 6:50am: https://www.facebook.com/IRONMANnow/

Or come to the Boulder Reservoir tomorrow and check it out. Food trucks and lots of energy will be waiting for you. More on spectator transportation here: https://www.ironman.com/im703-boulder-athletes

Boulder’s Dede Griesbauer and Kennett Peterson dominate the IRONMAN VR10 Pro Challenge Weekend

DEDE GRIESBAUER (USA) AND KENNETT PETERSON (USA) TAKE TITLES DURING THE IRONMAN VR10 PRO CHALLENGE WEEKEND

– Over 16,000 athletes from 130 nations registered to compete in IRONMAN VR10 an IRONMAN 5150 Olympics distance simulation
 
– More than 3,000 age group athletes register to compete in the inaugural IRONMAN Virtual Racing Championship Series
 
– More than 105,000 people from around the globe have now joined IRONMAN Virtual Club platform

The 10th edition of the IRONMAN® VR™ Pro Challenge saw a United States sweep with Dede Griesbauer winning the women’s race and Kennett Peterson taking the top honors in the men’s race as eight top triathletes battled it out over the course of two days. Mixing up the format, athletes took on a 3 km run through the Eagle Trail in Boulder, Colorado before hopping on their trainers. From there, athletes began their 40 km bike ride in Gerry Boyle Park on a portion of the newly offered IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman bike course, utilizing Official Virtual Cycling partner ROUVY’s augmented reality.

In the closely contested professional women’s race, Dede Griesbauer (USA) fought her way into the top spot with an impressive performance, finishing the 3 km run and 40 km bike in an overall time of 1:07:53, while Lindsey Jerdonek (USA) finished in second place with a combined time of 1:08:42. Danielle Mack (USA) took third position with a finishing time of 1:10:09 and Rachel Olson (USA) rounded out the group with a time of 1:11:19.

The full broadcast of the women’s IRONMAN VR10 Pro Challenge can be viewed, HERE.

Professional women’s results: 

  RUN TIMEBIKE TIMEOVERALL TIME
1. Dede GriesbauerUSA00:12:2100:55:321:07:53
2. Lindsey JerdonekUSA00:11:0800:57:341:08:42
3. Danielle MackUSA00:12:0000:59:571:10:09
4. Rachel OlsonUSA00:11:2600:59:531:11:19

On Sunday, it was the professional men’s turn to take to the road for a 3 km run and the trainers for a 40 km bike. Despite some technical difficulties (and nearly oversleeping the start of the race) Kennett Peterson (USA) emerged victorious, completing the IRONMAN VR10 Pro Challenge in an overall time of 1:02:05. Professional triathlete, Tyler Butterfield (BMU), came in second with a time of 1:03:58, while Joe Gambles (AUS) finished third in a time of 1:04:46. Andre Lopes (BRA) rounded out the men’s group clocking a time of 1:05:30.

The full broadcast of the men’s IRONMAN VR10 Pro Challenge can be viewed, HERE.

Professional men’s results: 

  RUN TIMEBIKE TIME OVERALL TIME 
1. Kennett PetersonUSA00:09:1300:52:521:02:05
2. Tyler ButterfieldBMU00:09:0800:54:501:03:58
3. Joe GamblesAUS00:09:3600:55:101:04:46
4. Andre LopesBRA00:09:2300:56:071:05:30

In total, over 16,000 athletes from more than 130 nations and all 50 states set out to participate in IRONMAN VR10. IRONMAN VR10 requires athletes to complete a 3 km Run, 40 km Ride, and 10 km Run between Friday, June 5 at 2 p.m. ET (6 p.m. GMT) and race close this evening, Sunday, June 7 at 7:59 p.m. ET (11:59 p.m. GMT). Competitors who race in the Classic Division can do so anywhere, indoors or outdoors, can complete the three segments in any order and are not required to do the segments consecutively.
 
The 3,000 athletes who registered for the new IRONMAN Virtual Racing Championship Series are bound by a different set of rules over a four-week long regulated age-group competition designed to reward top-performing athletes in a structured and competitive virtual environment. Athlete’s overall standing are based upon their top three performances in aggregate over a four-week period. Athletes competing will have the opportunity to earn race slots to the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship with a total of 75 qualifying slots allocated across age groups for top performers.
 
IRONMAN VR10 leaderboard updates can be found by visiting the IRONMANVR Facebook Page.
 
Bringing the IRONMAN community together virtually, the IRONMAN® Virtual Club™ continues to grow and now has more than 105,000 members on the platform with thousands completing IRONMAN Virtual Club Challenges since its recent launch.
 
Full details and specifics regarding the IRONMAN Virtual Club are available on www.ironmanvirtualclub.com. For questions about the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series, athletes can email ironmanvr@ironman.com. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.


Related Articles and Interviews:

Tyler Butterfield Wins IM Cozumel, Tim O’Donnell punches Ticket to Kona as well.

Boulder’s Tyler Butterfield had an incredible day yesterday in Cozumel, Mexico winning IRONMAN Cozumel with a 7:44:01 time. He had a blistering 2:38:29 run giving Butterfield a three minute gap on Austria’s (and last years winner) Michael Weiss. Boulder’s Tim O’Donnell finished 7th an earned another trip to Kona.

Said Butterfield from his Instagram account: “What a day yesterday at Ironman Cozumel, Latin American Championships. Not how I thought the race would pan out, but better than I could have ever dreamed or imagined. Cozumel you beauty, huge thanks to the race, volunteers, locals and the island itself–amazing here, and I owe you for fulfilling a childhood dream”

O’Donnell said from his Instagram account: “My Kona 2020 ticket is punched! It was a fast day out there, congrats to the podiums, especially Tyler Butterfield for winning in style with a blazing fast run! My race was a challenge from the start: some pre-race tummy issues turned into race day tummy problems!”

From Mexico to Florida, Coloradans Shine–Record set in Mexico, 633:41:39 to finish!

Off the beaten mainstream path of traditional triathlons, Boulder’s Laura Knoblach set a world record at the Todo Triatlon (sp), in Leon, Mexico. In this Double Deca Continuous race, competitors complete a 48-mile swim, 2,240-mile bike, and a 524-mile run. Basically they do 20 full-distance IRONMAN races in 28 days. It took Laura 633:41:39 to finish.

In a more familiar scene, Boulder’s Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae and Olympia von Berg placed first and fourth respectively at the Los Cabos IRONMAN 70.3 on Sunday.

At IRONMAN Florida, Colorado native Ben Hoffman took second with a blistering 7:48:29 only three weeks after taking fourth at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. Rounding out the pro field is Boulder’s Justin Metzler(6th), Tyler Butterfield (7th), Tripp Hipple (11th) and Colin Laughery (23rd)

Here is a video of Laura’s finish. https://www.facebook.com/todotriatlon/videos/2462670053947280/

More of Laura’s story can be found here: https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/boulder-woman-breaks-womens-world-record-for-a-double-deca-ultra-triathlon/73-7273b9c0-32e1-4036-9578-b2abeeae545d

IRONMAN Boulder “Flatiron War” on Sunday, what a possible farewell!

By Bill Plock

The infamous “Iron War” in 1989 between Dave Scott and Mark Allen at the IRONMAN World championship in Kona is considered one of the greatest endurance races of all time. But this years IRONMAN Boulder is shaping up to have it’s own legendary finish in the pro’s race and what better way to possibly celebrate the last six years of this race? The “Flat Iron War” is about to begin, buckle up!

Tim O’Donnell

There are any number of pros with a good shot to win, but tomorrow, six pro men and two pro women who live and train in Boulder will battle it out. Three of them, Tim O’Donnell , Justin Daerr and Danielle Mack have won IRONMAN Boulder.

Also competing is two time Olympian, top five finisher in Kona, Tyler Butterfield. Now add in a rising star, Boulder native, Sam Long who has won two 70.3’s this year (Victoria just a week ago) with the other Boulder native and “speedo man” Colin Laughery (303 video) and his contagious love of triathlon with Kennett Peterson (303 video) making his pro debut tomorrow and we have the unofficial “Flat Iron War”.

In the women’s race, local pro and Boulder native, 2014 Ironman Boulder Champion Danielle Mack will battle it out with Boulder’s Lesley Smith (303video) in what will surely be a great competition on this final stage.

This will be a fun race to watch. Click on their names to go to their websites and learn more about these amazing athletes!

303 Radio, Ivan O’Gorman

Ivan O’Gorman loves coffee and espresso. He loves it so much that he has a scale sensitive enough to weigh your breath. He uses it measure just the right amount of perfectly ground coffee to make the perfect cup. It’s this attention to detail that permeates his life and in part makes him one of the most coveted bike fitters in the industry.

But it’s his sense of humor and his attitude of understanding that life is short and that it’s critical to balance work, play and family that stood out for me in this interview for 303Radio from his studio in Niwot. It’s his good nature and inviting personality that no doubt keeps people coming back, or stopping by.

We sat in this incredibly inviting and charming space in the quaint downtown of Niwot and just chatted. In this podcast we talked about his rugby days growing up in Ireland, his days with Retul and his bike fitting philosophies and just fun stories in between. The walls and shelves are decorated with shoes and memorabilia from countless athletes Ivan has fitted. Says 303 ambassador Kim Welk, a friend of Ivan’s, “he is extremely detailed and explains his process every step of the way.”

Part way through pro triathlete Tyler Butterfield happened to stop by as he was heading out for a ride but wanted some of Ivan’s amazing espresso to warm up for a bit. Later we all went riding on a cold January day.

Ivan’s studio is a hub, athletes stop by all the time apparently. Check it out sometime and I can assure you Ivan is happy to help with a bike fit or whatever he can do to make riding a bike more fun and comfortable. Check it out here: http://www.ivanogorman.com

Butterfield Dedicates Marathon Win to Don

From the Royal Gazette

photo courtesy of Nikki Butterfield

Bermuda native and local Boulder Pro Triathlete, Tyler Butterfield, recently won the Bermuda Marathon.  In an interview with the Royal Gazette, he talks about his move to train with coach Julie Dibens, thoughts the 2018 ITU World Championship race being held in Bermuda this April and his roots in sport and triathlon.

Butterfield is hoping his schedule will allow him to return to Bermuda to watch the ITU World Triathlon Bermuda.  An event that will bring Flora Duffy to compete on her home soil.

After his win, ‘It took Butterfield about half an hour to move about 15 yards from the finish line on Sunday, the Bermudian stopping and chatting with fans and fellow athletes.’

“In the end it’s just sport, and that’s why everyone likes sports because it breaks down barriers,” Butterfield said. “In the end, we’re all out here to have fun, smile and do our best whether it’s a half, full marathon or 10K.

 

Complete article HERE

 

Butterfield shared these comments with 303Triathlon,

It was a great trip to Bermuda for their Race weekend. The options to do a mile Friday, 10k Saturday, and 1/2 Marathon or Marathon Sunday were all available . Or to do the triple challenge of all 3days ending in the 1/2.
I however opted to try the Marathon and test out the legs for an early season hit out. Working with Julie Dibens since November, we have had consistent training and want a bit of a test. Most the training was base specific and for Tri’s, but the marathon kept me honest on my long runs in December.
It is a great way to start the year with a surprising win and faster time than really expected, but it shows that the consistency payed off.
It has been nice working with Julie and takes a little bit of thought out of the week, and more energy to just do what I am told. Which in turn, has been enjoyable and makes life outside of training nice and switch the mind off more.

 

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.

 

Read the full article

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.

 

Read the full article

Most likeable guy in triathlon? Longmont’s Tyler Butterfield talks with 303Radio about KONA

303Radio‘s Bill Plock interviewed Tyler Butterfield – one of the most likeable guys in pro triathlon. From his youth in Bermuda to his new hobby farm in Longmont, the guy is nothing but friendly from all angles. He has huge respect for his fellow competitors, is humble in his accomplishments, entirely devoted to his family, grateful to his parents and sponsors, and remembers every name his 6-year-old daughter gave to their herd of adorable pet goats (with a seemingly princess theme)… Headed to #Kona, he just might land on the podium again. We’ll be watching and cheering for sure.  (Photo by Bill Plock)