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Sunday, September 10, 2017
Olympian Butterfield Finishes 7th in World Championships

Tyler Butterfield produced another strong performance as he finished 7th taking part in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga.

Butterfield clocked a time of 3:56:20.

With a field boasting former IRONMAN world champion Sebastian Kienle, IRONMAN (full -distance) world record holder Tim Don, and Olympic silver medalist Javier Gomez, the race promised an exciting battle from the get-go.

On the heels of another gorgeous sunrise over the Tennessee River, the professional men's field lined up for the 1.2-mile swim. Olympians Ben Kanute and Javier Gomez immediately put a gap on the rest of the field, making use of their short-course race experience. Kanute exited the water first with Gomez just seconds behind him, the two enjoying a minute advantage over a large chase pack.

Once on the 56-mile bike course, Kanute made it clear he was going to make everyone work. Behind him, Gomez managed to hang onto second until halfway through the bike, when strong cyclists began to dig: Maurice Clavel, Rudy Von Berg and most notably, Kienle. Kienle and Clavel jostled for second through the second half of the bike, as Kanute stretched his lead to 4 minutes on the front.

Coming into T2, it was Kienle who would end up lead a large pack containing Clavel, Sam Appleton, Butterfield, Gomez, Tim Don, Pieter Heemeryck, Andreas Dreitz, Von Berg and Matt Chrabot.

Out onto the two-loop run through a city center packed with spectators, the ITU world champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist immediately began chipping into Kanute's lead. The American made it clear he wasn't going to let this predicted move happen easily, however, and he held on until the pass of the day was made at mile 8. The only remaining question was whether Kanute could hang on to his position until the finish line.

Gomez ran down the finish chute, clocking a 3:49:45 finish time that proved he was back for a repeat win of his 2014 Mont Tremblant title. With a 24:09 swim, 2:12:27 bike, and smoking-fast 1:10:30 half marathon, he re-established him as a force on the IRONMAN 70.3 race circuit.

Butterfield recorded a time of 25:18 on the Swim, 2:10:40 on the Bike Course and 1:17:27 on the Run Course.
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