2012 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon won by Australian Nikki Butterfield

Nikki Butterfield has continued her stunning comeback to triathlon after taking time off to have a baby. In 2011 Butterfield won the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse and placed 4th at Hy-Vee. In the few short races since returning to competitive racing the pay has been good. Today Butterfield gains $50,000 towards Savana Rose’s college fund.

2012 Abu Dhabi winner Nikki Butterfield

Nikki had to dig deep and call on all of her professional cycling experience to make a up a big deficit after the swim. Melissa Rollison stayed with her on the bike and in hindsight this might have been to Rollison’s run detriment.

Angela Naeth and Caroline Steffen both raced solidly to get their 2nd and 3rd places.

Butterfield had reduced the deficit to nil by half way on the bike stage. By the end of the bike she had put 1:43 on Naeth and 2:58 on Steffen. A quick T2 put Butterfield even further ahead and she held this lead throughout the run and was never headed.

There was a big expectation that Melissa Rollison would come storming home in the run and at the halfway point it seemed like everyone was going to be proven right. However this was the first long distance race over a 70.3 that Rollison had taken on. By the 10km mark on the run Butterfield had had her lead cut in half and Rollison was closing and it looked like the two Aussies would be neck and neck at the finish line. But by the 15km mark on the run it was evident that the 200kms on the bike had taken a bigger toll on Rollison than she expected. She had slipped back and ended up over 4 :30 behind the winner when she finally crossed the line. Rollison had taken 3mins off Butterfield in the first 10kms but slipped back as the run progressed.

Rollison took on Abu Dhabi with the view that this would give her some really good feedback for the possibility that she may very well do an iron distance race in the next year or two.

Australian Christie Sym had a great race coming home in 9th place. Sym was only 26:49mins behind Butterfield and over these distances that is not as big a margin as it seems. Most of this was lost on the bike. Over the 20km run Sym maintained a good pace and finished well. Sym is on track to improve on 2011 after finally sorting out some health issues that had been plaguing her for a long time.

 

 

Pos Name Nation Finish Diff.
1 Nikki Butterfield AUS 7:00:22
2 Angela Naeth CAN 7:03:00 2:39
3 Caroline Steffen SUI 7:04:29 4:08
4 Melissa Rollison AUS 7:05:00 4:39
5 Rachel Joyce GBR 7:06:25 6:04
6 Jodie Swallow GBR 7:10:29 10:08
7 Emma-Kate Lidbury GBR 7:19:35 19:13
8 Eva Nystrom SWE 7:26:24 26:03:00
9 Christie Sym AUS 7:27:10 26:49:00
10 Diana Riesler GER 7:27:46 27:25:00
11 Michele Bremer NZL 7:30:38 30:17:00
12 Daniela Sammler GER 7:30:51 30:30:00
13 Lisa Ribes USA 7:34:49 34:27:00

 

 

 

Pos Name Nation Finish Diff.
1 Nikki Butterfield AUS 7:00:22
2 Angela Naeth CAN 7:03:00 2:39
3 Caroline Steffen SUI 7:04:29 4:08
4 Melissa Rollison AUS 7:05:00 4:39
5 Rachel Joyce GBR 7:06:25 6:04
6 Jodie Swallow GBR 7:10:29 10:08
7 Emma-Kate Lidbury GBR 7:19:35 19:13
8 Eva Nystrom SWE 7:26:24 26:03:00
9 Christie Sym AUS 7:27:10 26:49:00
10 Diana Riesler GER 7:27:46 27:25:00
11 Michele Bremer NZL 7:30:38 30:17:00
12 Daniela Sammler GER 7:30:51 30:30:00
13 Lisa Ribes USA 7:34:49 34:27:00
Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.