REBECCA Creedy followed Liz Pluimers’ backside for 40km in last month’s Coolangatta Gold race. But yesterday at Surfers Paradise she was the one out in front to win her maiden Kellogg’s ironwoman round.

And it’s not for want of trying. The former Commonwealth Games swimmer has raced the multi-leg series each summer for seven years. That’s 30-odd rounds but she had never broken the tape until yesterday.

“If I keep doing things right eventually my turn will come and it came today,” the 30-year-old said. She won three medals in the pool at the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealths but had been the perennial bridesmaid on the sand.

“I was wondering if I would have to wait until next season but it all happened today. I’m just so excited. This is my seventh series and in that whole time I’ve only had three thirds. I’m very good at getting fourths and fifths usually,” Creedy said. “But I’ve just got my first win so I want to keep going from strength to strength. I’m so motivated to finish this series off well.”

Extra motivation came from beating Pluimers, the woman who seemed unbeatable. After claiming her second Coolangatta Gold on November 1, the North Burleigh athlete had been all-conquering in the Kellogg’s series, winning the opening three rounds to establish a 17-point lead on the 15-woman field.

But Creedy pegged that back to 10 points with two rounds left — in Newcastle on January 3-4. Pluimers finished an uncharacteristic fourth behind Creedy (Northcliffe), Harriet Brown (Northcliffe), and Jordan Mercer (Noosa).

“It would have been nice to get on the podium. I did all the right things last night in terms of food, sleep. But I just didn’t feel 100 per cent when I woke up this morning,” Pluimers said. “I struggled through today but I’ll be ready for Newcastle.’’

During all the excitement, Creedy was tapped on the shoulder by an ASADA doping officer after the presentation ceremony to reaffirm her arrival on the big stage. But nothing could dampen her spirit.

“I’m going to have a glass of very good red tonight. At 31, I have to start making some life choices. If I was just going to keep coming fourth or fifth that’s not where I wanted to be. To know I’m capable of it is a real triumph. And Liz has been a staple in the series for so long, and so successful. So to be able to get up there and really take it to her is great for me.”

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