Nikki Butterfield Withdraws: Ironman Melbourne

March 20, 2013

Nikki Butterfield — the wife of Bermuda Olympian Tyler Butterfield — will not race Sunday’s Ironman Melbourne as originally planned.

“It’s been a very difficult decision to make,” said Butterfield. “I’d really like to race in my home country, try to put together a better Ironman marathon than I’ve run in the past, and of course start to collect points for Kona.

“But nothing has gone right since Abu Dhabi when I pulled out–my back and leg are still not right and I’ve had a cold that won’t go away. With all of that plus tapering for Abu Dhabi, it’s been almost a month since I’ve trained properly. It’s too much to expect to have a decent race.”

Butterfield came back from a four month hiatus from racing with hopes of defending her 2012 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon title earlier this month. Unfortunately her race was derailed by a long standing injury that flared up during the event’s bike leg.

“It’s been a stressful few months rushing to prepare for Abu Dhabi after such a long break last year,” Butterfield said. “Everything improved much faster than I expected which made me think I could do something in both Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, but I guess it all caught up with me at once,” she said.

“It was probably a stretch to think I could jump into such heavy training loads and not come out with some type of an injury or sickness. My coach kept telling me to slow down or do less but I didn’t listen. I wanted to be a contender in Abu Dhabi and start on the path of qualifying for Kona.

“It was one of the best training blocks I’ve ever done, but I guess in the end it showed it was too much too soon. I was forcing it.” Rather than step up to the race star line in Melbourne, Butterfield is looking forward to the opportunity to support husband Tyler–fresh off of his third place podium finish in Abu Dhabi during Sunday’s race.

“I’m really excited to support Tyler and to watch how the race unfolds,” she said. “Plus St. Kilda is one of my favorite places to visit. The last time we were there I was cheering Tyler on for the Commonwealth Games for cycling. That seems like forever ago.

“The weekend will be a short holiday for me before I start preparing for Ironman 70.3 St. George and Ironman Frankfurt once we get back to Boulder.”

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