Tyler Butterfield will go into the upcoming Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, with momentum after producing a podium display at the Ironman 70.3 Cozumel in Mexico last weekend.
The Bermudian finished second in an overall time of 3hr 49min 25sec at the event, which served as a warm-up for Kona.
“I went into Cozumel as a workout and just to test the equipment,” Butterfield told The Royal Gazette. “It was not a key race, so to get second I was very happy.
“I didn’t really expect to win and the guy who won [Austrian Michael Weiss] I figured he’d probably win.
“There were things that happened in the race where I could have easily been third. There were definitely one or two guys that didn’t have good days that I expected to be up there.
“But that’s all a part of racing. All in all, it was a good day and there were a lot of positives to take away.”
Butterfield led the field out of the water after a completing the 1.2-mile swim in 22:16, more than a minute ahead of eventual winner Weiss.
However, the effects of competing in a full marathon the previous weekend as part of his preparations for Kona took their toll on the 56-mile bike, as Weiss first reeled in and then passed Butterfield en route to opening a seven-minute gap.
“I had to do a long run the weekend before [Cozumel] for Kona and I wasn’t 100 per cent rested,” Butterfield said.
“I did a 20-mile run in just over two hours the Sunday before, which is too much for optimum performance, and on the bike is when you feel it the most because you need the power and your legs are a little tired still. It was three weeks before Kona and you got to run a marathon off the bike, so you have to do those long runs.
“In Cozumel it was a half-marathon, which was a good training run for Kona. Everything is looking good and I’m happy.”
The Ironman World Championships will take place next Saturday. “I’m really excited for Kona,” said Butterfield, who has broken into the elite top ten at the event on two occasions.
“I’m fresh, I’m fit and I don’t have any injuries.
“Kona is a very physical day and you mentally have to stay switched on. You cannot give up at all.”