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Tyler Butterfield, Carrie Lester win fast races at IRONMAN Cozumel

A storming run from Tyler Butterfield and a gun-to-tape exhibition from Carrie Lester highlighted the 2019 edition of IRONMAN Cozumel in Mexico

Chief Correspondent
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Six men go Sub-8 hours in Mexico

The Latin American Championship, Sunday’s IRONMAN Cozumel in Mexico attracted a strong field with £100,000 in prize money and a total of six Kona Pro qualifying slots on offer (three male, three female).

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Pro Men

When the (with the current) opening 3.8km swim starts with Hawaii second placed finisher, Timothy O’Donnell, leading a group to shore in a rapid 39:18, then you know you are likely set for a speedy day, with a flat and fast bike course to follow.

The fastest bike leg of the day came from Michael Weiss (a new bike course record), but with a swim deficit to overcome, he arrived at T2 in second place, alongisde 2013 IRONMAN World Champion, Frederik Van Lierde (BEL), Johann Ackermann (GER) and Manuel Kueng (SUI) for company. Leading the way was Patrik Nilsson (SWE), while Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield would started the run almost 11 minutes back and outside of the top-10.

Butterfield represented Bermuda at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in both Triathlon and the Marathon, and with a 2:21:47 clocking earlier this year at the Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan, on his day he can produce some superb run splits. Sunday, was one of those days. His halfway time was a remarkable 1:15:39, which had moved him up into second place, now just 1:33 down on Weiss. 5km later he took the lead and extended that to the finish for a stunning 2:38:29 marathon. His finishing time 7:44:01.

Pro Women

Aussie Carrie Lester (eighth in Hawaii this year), had a stellar day in Mexico, leading the swim (45:35) solo, and then never being headed to the finish. She produced the fastest bike split (4:38:38) and the second fastest run split (3:10:26), to finish up with a winning margin of almost 14 minutes over Maja Stage Nielsen (DEN), who was able to pass fellow Dane, Michelle Vesterby.

The day started well for Great Britain’s Susie Cheetham. She had been ill in race week, and so was unsure of how she would perform, but would start the run in second place.

Once on the run though, that illness or the heat caught up with her and she was forced out of the race within the first 10km of the run.

Caroline Livesey finished ninth, and with the top-10 positions in the prize money at a Championship event, she’ll be collecting a cheque at today’s awards dinner.

IRONMAN Cozumel, Mexico – Sunday 24th November 2019
Latin American Championship

3.8km / 180km / 42.2km

PRO MEN

1st – Tyler Butterfield (BER) – 7:44:01
2nd – Michael Weiss (AUT) – 7:47:12
3rd – Mario De Elias (ARG) – 7:52:02
4th – Manuel Kueng (SUI) – 7:54:59
5th – Paul Schuster (GER) – 7:58:37
6th – Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) – 7:59:43

PRO WOMEN

1st – Carrie Lester (AUS) – 8:38:41
2nd – Maja Stage Nielsen (DEN) – 8:52:26
3rd – Michelle Vesterby (DEN) – 8:56:12
4th – Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) – 9:03:10
5th – Lenny Ramsey (NED) – 9:09:14
6th – Ewa Komander (POL) – 9:16:14

9th – Caroline Livesey (GBR) – 9:41:37
DNF – Susie Cheetham (GBR)

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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