After two postponements, the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series will finally off in Kingscliff this weekend with the opening rounds to take place across Friday to Sunday 12-14 February.

Slated to begin in December 2020, the originally scheduled opening rounds of the series were indefinitely postponed because of the ever changing and evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Defending IronWoman Series Champion Lana Rogers is the hot favourite coming into the Ironwoman after a breakout season last year. But 2019 Series champion Georgia Miller (Gold Coast) and Sydney’s Lizzie Wellborn are poised to challenge her for the title, both coming into the Series in red hot form.

“Georgia Miller she is definitely going to be up there and I also think Lizzie Welborn is going to have a crack up, she improved a lot last season, I think they’re the one’s to watch,” Rogers said.

“But ultimately on the day, I’ve got to focus on myself and what I need to do out there and focus on my one percenters that I think are going to count.”

The Ironman race will see the much awaited return of two time Nutri-Grain IronMan Series champion and six time Coolangatta Gold champion Ali Day who last year was sidelined with injury.

“It’s a really special time for us, this is the first time I have been back racing in over two years almost and it’s really cool to have my family there, but to have him there (son Danny) tomorrow and for the next few rounds it’s something that I’m going to hold really close to my heart and I want to do really well for him,” Day said on having his newborn son Danny watch his return to racing.

“There are some nerves there but I know that I’ve prepared really well and I’m just excited to get back and do something that I really love doing.

“Sticking to the basics, keeping it simple and trying to soak it up and enjoy it because when I was out this was what I really missed. So I’ve got to take stock and be grateful that I can be back out here and do what I love.”

Earlier this week, reigning Nutri-Grain IronMan Series Champion Kendrick Louis was ruled ruled out of the opening weekend of the Nutri-Grain IronMan Series, the 30-year-old sustaining a calf tear which will see him sit out of the first three rounds.

Surfers’ Paradise’s Nathan Gray will replace Kendrick this weekend for the opening three rounds of the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series and join club mate Day on the line.

“A couple of days out to get the call up, it’s exciting and I’m super grateful. Now I don’t have time to get nervous for it so I’m just running on excitement and ready for the weekend,” Gray said.

“I’ve been training alongside other athletes who are in the Series, Ali Day, TJ, Finn and Courtney, so I’m aware of the level that I had to be at for this weekend and I generally try to keep fit throughout the season anyway, but this weekend is going to be a shock to the system.

“I’m just going to take a step back, try to really enjoy the process and have fun and see what happens.”

The Nutri-Grain Next Gen U19 will also race on Sunday 14 as a curtain raiser to round three of the Nutri-Grain Iron Series, with another two rounds of the Nutri-Grain Next Gen scheduled for two weeks’ time.

The U19 Nutri-Grain Next Gen ironmen will compete in short traditional iron heats, followed by 40-minute EnduroSurf style final with the Next-Gen ironwomen competing in a straight out 40-minute EnduroSurf final.

Everything will be at stake for the U19 athletes with the top female and male athletes across three rounds granted a spot into the official Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series for 2021/22.

For further information about the Nutri-Grain Series, please click here.

To see the full list of male and female competitors in the Nutri-Grain Series click here.

The first rounds of the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series will take place across the 12-14 February and will be broadcast LIVE on Channel 9GO! from 12pm-2pm nationally.

The remaining three rounds will take place across 26-28 February with round four (26 Feb) LIVE on Channel 9GO! from 12pm-2pm nationally and rounds five and six LIVE on Channel 9 from 12pm-2pm nationally.