Pro comeback: Nikki Butterfield in action on the bike.
Pro comeback: Nikki Butterfield in action on the bike.

Nikki Butterfield will return to the professional triathlon ranks at the Challenge Bahrain race on December 6.

The Australian wife of Bermuda’s Ironman Tyler Butterfield, who is currently preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, will take to the start line for the first time at that level since the birth of the couple’s second child six months ago.

As a ‘warm-up’ event, she will also compete in the Ironman 70.3 Mandurah in Australia on November 9.

Nikki, whose career boasts a win in the 2011 Ironman 70.3 Syracuse and the 2012 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, was in action during her recent stay in Bermuda, where she finished second in the May 24 half-marathon behind Ashley Estwanik.

The family’s sporting priority remains her husband’s bid to improve on his excellent seventh at the Kona Ironman World Championships in October.

But Butterfield’s competitive juices were awoken in Bermuda and she will now work a new training schedule around family life.

She said in a press release: “I may not have a balanced programme in many people’s eyes, but it’s fluid and flexible and it works with the time I have.

“I’m a bit nervous about how the reduced training will pan out but I’m happy and my family is happy — so hopefully that will translate into some solid racing.”

She added: “My biggest concern with a return to racing has always been time away from my children.

“For me, the pull to be a full-time time parent is strong, but I do still have professional dreams as well. I sort of view this as going back to work part time — just the right amount for our  family.”