Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield. *File photo
Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield. *File photo

Tyler Butterfield was third at the Calgary Ironman 70.3 on Sunday, sealing a prestigious spot in October’s Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.

Butterfield’s Calgary performance, along with points accumulated at prior races this season, moved him into 30th in the Kona Points Ranking (KPR).

The top 40 as of July 28 qualify.

Tim Don led out of the water,  with Matt Reed one minute down, Butterfield emerging a minute later and Trevor Wurtele
following 45 seconds behind.

While Don held his lead during the early miles of the bike, Butterfield, Reed and Wurtele were soon cycling in close contention for the next three spots.

But Butterfield’s professional cycling experience served him well, as he broke from former Olympian Reed, who is strong on foot.

Accompanied by Wurtele, Butterfield bridged the gap to race leader Don to set up a three-way running duel out of T2.

But Don showed his strength from the start of the run, reclaiming the lead and ultimately holding off his closest competitors to celebrate his first Ironman 70.3 win.

Butterfield enjoyed second-place status over Wurtele until the run’s halfway point, but was eventually overtaken.

He was thrilled, however, to hold on to a podium spot. It was his second podium in just 15 days, with three Ironman 70.3 finishes in the past three weeks.

Butterfield said in a press release: “With so many races on Sunday that could potentially affect the rankings, it was a nice surprise to know  for sure so quickly that I made it.

“It’s been a tough few weeks for sure, chasing those final points to make sure I would qualify with a comfortable margin.

“Now that I’m in, it’s time to put my head down and focus on long course training to be sure I step up to the line in Kona in the best shape possible.”

With less than 11 weeks remaining until the world championship in Kona, Butterfield will prepare from his home base in Boulder, Colorado.