This Kona could be last for Butterfield
Tyler Butterfield is pumped up for what could be his curtain call at the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, tomorrow.
The 35-year-old professional triathlete is well rested and injury-free and keen as ever to go out on a positive note should it indeed turn out to be his final appearance at the iconic event celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
“I’m excited and it will probably be my last time there,” Butterfield told The Royal Gazette.
“It’s just a big commitment on the family and this year doing Commonwealth Games and Kona, they were both similar preparations and just quite stressful.
“The objective is to race as hard as I can and see where I come out.
“I’m fresh, I’m fit and I don’t have any injuries. Representing Bermuda and racing the best in the world, you want to at least be on top form and so I’m excited.
“One of the favourites is out with a stress fracture and another guy just the other day pulled out because he said he is not fit enough. We all want it so bad and want to do our best result that we can and it’s a fine line that you push your body to.”
The Ironman World Championships comprises a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run, which puts the endurance of the athletes to the ultimate test.
“It’s a very physical day but you mentally have to stay switched on and cannot give up,” Butterfield said.
“It’s a long race and in an 8½ or nine-hour day, you definitely have internal battles. Ironman is definitely an internal battle and your best ally is yourself and your worst enemy is yourself.”
German Patrick Lange holds the men’s race record of 8hr 1min 40sec, which he achieved last year. The women’s record stands at 8:46:46, which was set by Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf two years ago.
Butterfield’s best showing at the championships to date was in 2015 when he placed fifth. He was also seventh in 2013 when he equalled father Jim’s personal best at the championships first held in 1978.
The two-times Olympian finished 36th at last year’s event in an overall time of 9:27:22.
“Last year everyone biked a little too hard and they all blew up and I wished that I had the mental fortitude to believe in myself a little more,” Butterfield said.
“This year the goal is to just believe in myself and get to the finish line never giving up and whatever result that gives me I will be happy with.”
Butterfield will go into this year’s championships with momentum after producing a podium display at Ironman 70.3 Cozumel in Mexico.
He finished second in an overall time of 3:49:25 at the event, which served as a warm-up for Kona.
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