NORTHCLIFFE'S Kristyl Smith is more determined than ever to win an Ironwoman Series, after finishing as series runner-up on five previous occasions.
The 28-year-old claimed third place in yesterday's pursuit event at Coolum Beach, behind Candice Falzon and Bonnie Hancock, to earn a one-point lead in the series, ahead of Liz Pluimers.
With the sixth and final round at Noosa Heads on Sunday, Smith is desperate to finally claim the crown which has eluded her so many times.
"To get so close on so many occasions has been a little disheartening but it's also made me more determined to get there," she said.
"There have been plenty of scenarios in the past but it just hasn't gone my way ... so maybe this year. I've been racing well, so we'll see next week."
Smith couldn't help but entertain thoughts of a breakthrough series triumph.
"It's something I've dreamed about since I was a little nipper," she said. "I was probably the biggest fan and the biggest groupie going around when I was 12 or 13."
But she knows it will be difficult to snare the top prize.
"I do have a lead but it is obviously going to come down to that last race," Smith said.
"I'll still go into the race the same as any other race and that's to win it, whether it's a one point lead or not.
"Noosa is obviously not a big surf beach so it's going to be flat and you're not going to get much assistance coming back in but I think that's also good for me.
"I'm fit, I'm stronger than I've ever been and they've got to be chasing me now."