Tyler Butterfield Reflects On Superfrog

October 4, 2012

Tyler Butterfield claimed the third podium spot in the half-iron distance Superfrog Triathlon last Sunday [Sept 30], with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong winning the race with a new course record.

In August, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency banned Mr Armstrong for life from competitive cycling in connection with allegations he used banned substances. The 41-year-old was allowed to compete in the SuperFrog because it was nonsanctioned and not subject to USADA rules.

Butterfield exited the swim a minute behind Leon Griffin and Lance Armstrong, a surprise deficit considering his swim-focused training in the lead up to the recent London Olympic Games.

“I couldn’t believe I was that far behind Leon and Lance after the swim since I’ve worked so hard on it over the last 12 months,” Butterfield said. “In retrospect I wasn’t aggressive enough in the wade out and I wasn’t able to catch a wave, but I didn’t expect to be off the back.

“It wasn’t my best day in the water for sure, but I also have yet to find a wetsuit that suits me, which makes a big difference. Fortunately for me, Kona, Vegas and Hy-Vee are all non-wetsuit swims, and those are the races I care about the most.”

Once onto the bike, Griffin served as a rabbit for Armstrong, leading him around the 56-mile course at a legal distance, while Butterfield time-trialed solo for the entire bike leg.

“I was pleased to put in a solid effort on the bike. I was a little annoyed at myself for not nailing the swim and positioning myself closer to Leon and Lance, but looking to the positives the race was exactly what I needed to prepare for Ironman Arizona. It was my first half-ironman in nearly two years and I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” said Butterfield.

Griffin and Armstrong exited T2 within 30 seconds of one another, while Butterfield started the run 4:20 behind the leader. Armstrong quickly moved into the number one spot and never looked back, eventually winning with more than athree-minute margin over Griffin. Butterfield managed to shave two minutes off of Griffin’s lead, but he, too, lost time to the seven-time Tour de France champion.

“Lance just totally smashed me!” exclaimed an impressed Butterfield. “He swam faster, biked faster and ran faster than me. It’s good to get a wake-up call like that now, so that I have time to do something about it before Arizona.”

Butterfield also competed in the FI Triathlon the day prior to the Superfrog race, a swim/bike/run/swim/bike/run format similar to an Australian race series that was wildly popular several years ago.

He finished 7th in the event, citing a lack of speed-specific training but pledging his support to compete in future F1 events in order to help bolster the format’s development on U.S. soil.

Next up, Butterfield will head to Kona to watch the famed Ironman World Championships on October 13th, with an eye toward gaining strategic insight for the 2013 race.

He’ll remain in Hawaii for atwo-week training camp, then fly straight to Texas for Ironman 70.3 Austin. His season will wrap up with a final training stint at home in Boulder prior to contesting Ironman Arizona in November.

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