Butterfield, Brault win La Paz PATCO

Ty Butterfield of Bermuda overcame a 46-seconds deficit out of the swim, broke away to a minute lead on the bike and then held fast against a blazing run by Canada’s Brent McMahon to take top honors in the elite men’s division at the La Paz PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships Sunday in Argentina.

Butterfield’s 19:43 swim was 46-48 seconds slower than Canada’s Brent McMahon and Brian Lamar of the USA, an average of 30 seconds slower than a large pack that included Canada’s Kyle Jones, Jason Wilson of Barbardos, Ben Collins of the USA and Crisanto Grajales of Mexico.

Butterfield then slashed through the field with a race-best 57:52 bike that was between 90 seconds and 2 minutes faster than his toughest competitors – and 24 seconds faster than super-cyclist and legendary South American competitor Oscar Galindez, who was vainly trying to make up ground from a catastrophically slow 21:26 swim.

After a slower-than-average 37 seconds T2 transition, Butterfield had a 1:08 advantage on the closest of the chase group – and 1:16 on McMahon, the most dangerous runner in the field. With wife Nikki cheering him on, Butterfield kept a lid on the race with a 5th-best 34:52 10k run which surrendered just 44 seconds to McMahon.

When Butterfield hit the finish tape, his 1:53:36 time was 31 seconds better than runner-up McMahon and 54 seconds better than third place Kyle Jones of Canada.

The USA men did not fare as well as the women as Manny Huerta (1:57:04), Ben Collins (1:57:10) and fastest swimmer (18:55) Brian Lamar (1:57:57) finished 14th, 15th and 16th. In his 2012 debut at the Olympic distance, Lukas Verzbicas got out of the water with Butterfield (19:44), biked an 8th-best 59:21 and then dropped out on the run.

In the women’s race, Sarah-Anne Brault of Canada swam a 3rd-best 19:35, posted a 9th-best 1:06:32 bike ride that left her right on the heels of the front pack. Brault and Kathy Tremblay made a 35-seconds break midway through the run. But while Brault surged ahead to take the victory on the final lap, USA triathletes Jillian Petersen and Margaret Shapiro sprinted past a fading Tremblay to take second and third.

Brault uncorked a dominating, race-best 38:54 10k run that was 1:14 better than the next-best competitor Jillian Petersen of the US and 1:17 better than the 3rd best runner, Margaret Shapiro of the US, and 1:37 better than Kathy Tremblay of Canada.

Brault finished the race in 2:07:10 with a 1:12 margin of victory over runner-up Petersen, with Shapiro taking third place, four seconds back of Petersen and Tremblay taking 4th, 17 seconds back of Shapiro. .

La Paz PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships
La Paz, Argentina
January 15, 2012
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k


Elite men

1. Ty Butterfield (BER) 1:53:36
2. Brent McMahon (CAN) 1:54:07
3. Kyle Jones (CAN) 1:54:30
4. Crisanto Grajales (MEX) 1:54:48
5. Gonzalo Raul Tallecha (ARG) 1:54:52
6. Fabio Carvalho (BRA) 1:55:07
7. Diogo Sclebin (BRA) 1:55:21
8. Felipe Van de Wyngard (CHI) 1:55:48
9. Arturo Garza (MEX) 1:56:11
10. Jason Wilson (BAR) 1:56:17
14. Manuel Huerta (USA) 1:57:04
15. Ben Collins (USA) 1:57:10
16. Brian Lamar (USA) 1:57:57
20. Barrett Brandon (USA) 1:59:12
23. Kevin Collington (USA) 1:59:28
26. Dan McIntosh (USA) 2:03:45
DNF Lukas Verzbicas (USA)

Elite Women

1. Sarah-Anne Brault (CAN) 2:07:10
2. Jillian Petersen (USA) 2:08:22
3. Margaret Shapiro (USA) 2:08:26
4. Kathy Tremblay (CAN) 2:08:43
5. Elizabeth Bravo (ECU) 2:09:19
6. Claudia Rivas (MEX) 2:09:35
7. Kaitlin Shiver (USA) 2:11:01
8. Kirsten Sweetland (CAN) 2:11:51
9. Pamela Nascimento Oliveira (BRA) 2:11:52
10. Chantell Widney (CAN) 2:12:21
11. Lauren Campbell (CAN) 2:12:46
12. Flora Duffy (BER) 2:13:35
13. Lindsey Jerdonek (USA) 2:12:52