FRIDAY, JUNE 29: Pro triathlete Nikki Butterfield put her fitness to the test at Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Syracuse, posting a third place podium finish as part of her programmed build to the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany on July 8. The race was a valuable marker of the strength-endurance skill that Butterfield will rely on in her first foray back to the Ironman distance since 2005.

Butterfield said: “Syracuse was one of the last key sessions in my preparation for Frankfurt.

“I’m happy with my race, especially since I don’t quite have the ‘snap’ or top end power right now that I would need in order to compete for the win in a 70.3. And all credit to Angela Naeth and Jodie Swallow, who took first and second. Those girls were impressive.”

The 70.3 mile swim, bike and run effort provided Butterfield with a four-hour time trial test of her cycling fitness leading into Ironman, an event in which she’ll tackle double the distance raced on Sunday.

Butterfield also accrued valuable KPR (Kona Points Ranking) points that will help secure a spot on the start line at the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October.

“Now I’m looking forward to freshening up for Ironman.

“My training has been specifically geared toward the longer distance, hopefully it will pay off in Germany.”