Nathan Buttrick figured as long as he was planning to compete in an Ironman event, he might as well aim high.
The Beverly native will travel to Kona, Hawaii, for the Ironman World Championship on Oct. 13. The former Beverly High track star has enjoyed great success with Half-Ironman Triathlons, but this will be his first full one. It is also the biggest and most famous Ironman event in the world, with a field of around 2,500 participants, many more spectators on hand and one that is televised to the rest of the country.
Since 1977, athletes have been flocking to Hawaii from around the world to take part in the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and then a 26.2-mile marathon run. There are no breaks allowed between the three events that make up an Ironman.
Kona is not for the faint of heart, and Buttrick realizes the challenges he’ll be facing are twice as long as he what he’s used to.
“I know it’s going to be very hot, and I tend not to do as well in the heat,” said Buttrick, a property manager in Boston. “A typical day in Kona is around 90 degrees with a hot wind.
“My goal is to be in the water for an hour. I hope to do the bike ride in four hours and 50 minutes, and run in three hours. That adds up to close to nine hours. I know my goal is lofty.”
Buttrick, who has competed in 10-12 Half-Ironman Triathlons over the last three years, is taking his wife, Mahima, and their two young children along. The family plans to spend 10 days after the Ironman in Hawaii relaxing and enjoying the island.
His first experience with triathlons came a few years ago at his high school friend Kevin Rust’s bachelor party.