A blazing 2:38 marathon allowed Tyler Butterfield to charge to the men’s title, while Carrie Lester dominated the women’s race from start to finish to earn her third Ironman win of the year at Ironman Cozumel, the Latin American Championship.

Carrie Lester on the bike on her way to the win at Ironman Mont-Tremblant. (Credit: Kevin Mackinnon)

Lester leads, super-mom nails her Kona slot

Carrie Lester took second at Ironman Arizona last year, but that wasn’t enough to nail a Kona qualifying slot – she had to wait until this June to win Ironman France to nail down her entry for the Ironman World Championship. She followed the win in France up with a dominating performance at Ironman Mont-Tremblant, then an eighth-place finish in Kona. Instead of heading to Arizona, which had two Kona slots, Lester was in Cozumel, which had three qualifying spots available. Even if there had been one, though, Lester would have been just fine this year – from the gun the Australian was at the front in Cozumel and she never looked back as she took the day in dominating style.

After finishing the down-current swim in a shade over 45 minutes, Lester was first on to the bike. Super-mom Michelle Vesterby, who gave birth to baby Marcus in May and finished fifth at her Ironman Copenhagen just three months later, was second out of the water, with Great Britain’s Susie Cheetham in third.

Lester’s 4:38 bike split opened up more time on the women chasing behind – Cheetham would come off the bike in second, but would drop out on the run due to heat issues, putting her out of the picture. Vesterby was third off the bike, over nine-minutes behind the Lester heading out onto the run, with fellow Dane, Maia Stage Nielsen next into T2, over 16-minutes behind Lester.

Lester’s 3:10 marathon split was more than enough to net her the win, while Stage Nielsen used a 3:07 marathon to move herself up to second. Vesterby hung on for third, nailing the final Kona slot.

After coming out of the water in 16th position, Canadian Robyn Hardage moved up to 12th by the end of the bike and then managed to move up a couple more positions during the marathon to finish in 10th.

Place Name Country Overall 3.8 km Swim 180 km Bike 42.2 km Run
1 Carrie Lester AUS 8:38:41 0:45:35 4:38:35 3:10:26
2 Maja Stage Nielsen DEN 8:52:26 0:48:57 4:51:40 3:07:53
3 Michelle Vesterby DEN 8:56:12 0:47:02 4:46:29 3:18:26
4 Alexandra Tondeur BEL 9:03:10 0:51:24 4:49:56 3:15:50
5 Lenny Ramsey NED 9:09:14 0:54:15 4:58:25 3:11:39
6 Ewa Komander POL 9:16:29 0:47:08 4:54:29 3:30:14
7 Leanne Fanoy NED 9:32:16 0:51:28 5:11:42 3:21:59
8 Jenny Nae SWE 9:40:16 0:54:02 5:04:35 3:37:13
9 Caroline Livesey GBR 9:41:37 0:48:29 5:04:43 3:44:03
10 Robyn Hardage CAN 9:43:51 0:54:14 5:14:44 3:30:35

Fast times abound as Butterfield blasts the marathon

The down-current swim saw a bunch of men break the 40-minute barrier as Tim O’Donnell led the way to T1 in 39:18, with nine men within 30 seconds of him as the leaders started the bike.

Patrik Nilsson led a group of eight men through the second of the three loops on the bike, but Austria’s Michi Weiss was starting to make some inroads on the group after coming out of the water over six-minutes down. Nilsson kept pushing the pace through the final lap and arrived at T2 with a lead of 1:24 on Weiss and 2013 Ironman World Champion Frederik Van Lierde (BEL). Butterfield arrived in T2 almost 10 minutes behind the leaders in ninth.

Nilsson would be forced out of the race due to cramps at the 8 km point, leaving Weiss in the lead, but it was Butterfield’s blazing marathon that would highlight the day. His 2:38:29 split saw him surge to the front of the race around the 26 km point and he never looked back to finish over three-minutes ahead of Weiss. Argentina’s Mario De Elias rounded out the podium.

After his runner-up finish in Kona, O’Donnell simply needed to finish the race to earn his Kona slot, so four men earned their Kona qualification in Cozumel – Butterfield, Weiss, De Elias and O’Donnell.

Moncton, N.B.’s Cedric Boily was just under three minutes behind the leaders out of the water and rode an impressive 4:23 bike split, then ran well enough to move up a few spots during the marathon to take 10th.

Place Name Country Overall 3.8 km Swim 180 km Bike 42.2 km Run
1 Tyler Butterfield BMU 7:44:01 0:42:11 4:19:11 2:38:29
2 Michael Weiss AUT 7:47:12 0:45:25 4:07:18 2:50:34
3 Mario De Elias ARG 7:52:02 0:42:19 4:18:56 2:47:10
4 Manuel Kueng SUI 7:54:59 0:39:19 4:13:32 2:57:26
5 Paul Schuster GER 7:58:37 0:39:32 4:16:16 2:59:14
6 Frederik Van Lierde BEL 7:59:43 0:39:28 4:13:30 3:02:55
7 Timothy O’Donnell USA 8:06:08 0:39:18 4:18:04 3:03:18
8 Philipp Mock GER 8:13:54 0:48:43 4:15:27 3:03:43
9 Victor Arroyo Bugallo ESP 8:14:29 0:46:29 4:29:07 2:54:21
10 Cedric Boily CAN 8:23:09 0:42:17 4:23:48 3:11:09

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