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Butterfield not retiring. Abu Dhabi then Melbourne.


NIKKI Butterfield toyed with the idea of retirement last year after admitting she didn’t feel like she was being the mum, wife and athlete she needed to be.


While Butterfield admits she wants to grow her family, she has some unfinished business and it starts with this weekend’s Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.


“The original plan was retire for a number of reasons but I need to tick off a few boxes first,” Butterfield said.


“Races like Abu Dhabi, Hy-Vee, Kona and Vegas are all on my list, I just have to pick my battles.”


Butterfield took a four-month break towards the end of last year and admits she doesn’t know where her fitness level is.


“This year I am going in feeling better than I did last year, but I didn’t have such a long break,” she said.

“All my times at training indicate some good things, but it is whether I have the endurance to go with it.”


While Butterfield is out to defend her title and take home a slice of triathlon’s biggest prize purse, she will also be toeing the line at Ironman Melbourne.


“Melbourne wasn’t really on the agenda, but Tyler will be down there racing and it will be good to try a few different things, that I haven’t done before,” she said.


While the Butterfield clan have called the Gold Coast home the last few months, following Ironman Melbourne in just over three weeks time they relocate back to the United States.


Butterfield’s ‘to do’ list for this year certainly puts retirement on hold and she said the demands of motherhood constantly shifts the way she needs to train.


“When Savanna was a baby, it was easy. You could just pack her up and travel wherever we needed to go with her,” she said.


“But now she needs more structure and she is in school 9am – 4pm each day.


“It means I can still get the training I need done and she is really happy being around other kids and getting the structure that she needs.


Butterfield headlines Saturday’s elite female start list for the fourth Abu Dhabi International Triathlon with plenty of women looking to steal her crown.


The likes of Caroline Steffen, Melissa Haushildt, Tenille Hoogland and Heather Wurtele are all hot contendors to steal Butterfield’s thunder.


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