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In her burgeoning career as an Ironwoman, Lizzie Welborn has done it all. Well, nearly.

The 24-year-old, hot off a second-place finish at the six-leg Nutri Grain Iron Series which wrapped up in Queensland at the start of February, came into the season with a rare sense of uncertainty – something she hasn’t experienced in nearly a decade.

“I had to come through the trials this year and I hadn’t had to do that since I first made the series eight years ago,” she said.

“It was a stranger pre-season so my whole focus was to make it through the trial and not think about the result of the series.

“After that first round I kind of realised I could do it.

“It was cool to go from not expecting to do much to competing for a title.”

The first round she speaks of was an EnduroSurf format win on the opening weekend before Christmas – her second since joining the series, and her first in more than five years after her maiden triumph in Cronulla in 2017.

Newport SLSC clubmate, Jackson Borg picked up a round win on the same weekend at Manly, adding to an already impressive weekend for the NSW athletes.

It was a triumph that carried a significant amount of meaning for Lizzie, and another feather in her cap as she continues to blaze the trail for NSW-based competitors.

“It was great to show that you can be a professional Ironwoman and be from NSW,” she said.

“We can train just as hard down here, and we can get it done just as well.

“I think it’s important to show our young Nippers that you can be everything you want and do it from your home state.”

The focus now shifts to the 2023 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club, where Lizzie will have another chance to earn a title that she covets but is yet to have against her name – state Open Iron champion.

“I love State and I’ll be doing all the events; Newport will be trying to win another Championship title and that’s a massive motivator for us,” she said.

“It’s a big deal and I just love seeing everyone across the state in the one place; everyone here has the commonality of being from NSW.

“Personally, for me I have actually never won the Open Ironwoman at State Champs.

“Hopefully this is the year.

“When we go to State all the girls are passionate about it and everyone gives it their all.

“On the day every year there has always been someone that has raced better than me and it’s great because it shows our depth as a state.

“Maybe I’m a bit nervous,” she added, laughing.

Tuesday 28 February 2023