Hamish Butler: Abu Dhabi to Pontevedra

Hamish Butler: Abu Dhabi to Pontevedra

The season began at the World Triathlon Age-Group World Championships in Abu Dhabi. At the event, I was competing in the Super-Sprint Triathlon and Aquabike. Being such an early race in the season – held in November – it was tough to peak so early, acclimatise to the heat whilst training in the New Zealand winter and try to get used to swimming in 30 degrees Celsius water.


I came away from the event stoked with the results, placing 7th in the Super-Sprint and 3rd in the Aquabike. Considering I was one of the youngest in my age group, and conditions were less than desirable, I was really pleased with the result. On another day and in better conditions, I know my times could have been faster, but given it was my first event at that level, my age relative to the other competitors and my lack of experience in the heat, I was stoked with my effort. These results have given me the hunger to chase another medal this coming September at the World Champs in Pontevedra.

This season I also competed in 70.3 New Zealand in Taupo. Going into the race, I was confident I had the fitness given the load I’d put in over the winter, but I was unsure how much would be left in the tank after the quick turnaround from Abu Dhabi. However, on the day I executed the race I wanted. Despite a minor mishap with my goggles in the swim, it was a perfect performance for my first half-distance event, being just 2 minutes off going under 5 hours.

The final major race of the season was my second 70.3 in March, once again in Taupo. As the saying goes, sometimes, it’s just not your day, which sums up my race. The positive is that it has fueled my motivation for winter training and taught me plenty of valuable lessons regarding preparation, nutrition, and pacing.

This leads me to the race plan for next season. I decided not to attend the World Multisport Age-Group Championships in Ibiza. After some thinking, I decided I was less prepared than I would like to be, and with the high cost of getting over there, it was better to put all my energy into Pontevedra in September.

The plan will then be to do another couple of 70.3s, with the Tauranga Half being one and then one of the Ironman 70.3s events in Taupo. Other than that, I am eager to enjoy racing and find some local running and cycling races over the winter period to ensure I keep loving what I do.

This season would not have been possible without GU Energy. They always say that the fourth discipline of triathlon is nutrition, and as I have learnt, they are not wrong.

My favourite GU product would have to be the Salty's Caramel Stroopwafels. They’re always the ideal thing to have before any session. I use them before any morning session and on long bike rides and runs when you need extra fuel with some substance. In terms of when you are racing, they are easy to chew and are easy on the stomach, making them the perfect energy source for when you need to refuel.

Follow Hamish on IG: @hamish_butler