Elizabeth Pluimers crosses the line in victory in the Nutri-Grain Series.
Elizabeth Pluimers crosses the line in victory in the Nutri-Grain Series. Northcliffe Surf Lifesaving Club

Country kid wins

ELIZABETH Pluimers has been unbeatable in the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series this season and uses every opportunity to claim her connection to Warwick.

The surf lifesaving competitor was born in Warwick and started school at St Mary’s before moving with her parents Henry and Fran Pluimers to the Gold Coast at the age of nine.

Her grandparents Frank and Marjorie Gambrill live in Warwick and are two of her greatest fans.

In the 2010-2011 Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series, she has won the first three races at Currumbin, Bondi and on Sunday at Coolum. Her first series win was in 2008 and she only has to maintain her form for the final two rounds to win her second title.

She learnt to swim and play netball in Warwick before being enrolled in nippers at the Southport Surf Life Saving Club. There was some netball, ballet and touch footy at the Gold Coast but her focus has been surf lifesaving.

Pluimers is now part of the Northcliffe club.

Even collapsing at the end of the Coolangatta Gold endurance event at the start of the 2009-2010 season hasn’t deterred her.

“I had a few medical problems at the time and collapsed due to exhaustion,” Pluimers said.

“I was third at the time and it happened 20 metres from the finish.”

She didn’t miss a race and was second in the Nutri-Grain series in the same season.

While Pluimers is in a professional sport, she works part-time as an accountant in between 15 training sessions a week.

She swims four mornings a week at Miami under coach Denis Cotterell where she clocks up between five and seven kilometres in the water.

The rest of her training is in the surf at Northcliffe where she fine tunes her form for the three legs of the ironwoman event – board, ski and swim.

Pluimers is in the Australian team to travel to New Zealand in June after already competing in Japan and South Africa.

“I just love it down on the beach,” she said.

“The board leg is my strongest.”

In 2008, she was Australian and world board champion.

She likes to be regarded as a country girl and is happy to tell all and sundry she is originally from Warwick.

Pluimers has no plans to move to triathlon, running or swimming endurance events as some lifesavers do. She just loves competing in the ironwoman series.


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