In a career that has spanned more than two decades, Britain's Jo Pavey has won silver and bronze medals - but until tonight, never a gold.
The 40-year-old mother-of-two achieved what will surely be the crowning moment of her career as she deployed all her experience and sheer guts in the 10,000 metres to go one better than her European Athletics Championship silver of four years ago - and just 10 days after taking Commonwealth 5000m bronze in Glasgow.
After breaking the resistance of her last challenger, France's Clemence Calvin, over the final 80 metres, Pavey crossed the line in 32min 22.39sec.
In so doing she became the oldest ever female to win a European gold, taking that distinction from Russia's Lyubov Gurina, who won the 800m in 1994 aged 37.
"It's hard to believe," she said, her voice still clearly signalling her birthplace in Devon.
"I don't really know how I was able to win it at this age.
"It feels like I might be dreaming or something."
Earlier in the evening, Germany's David Storl had claimed the first gold of these Championships as he retained his shot put title with a first round effort of 21.41 metres.
Silver went to Spain's Borja Vivas, whose 20.86 was three centimetres better than the effort of Poland's Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski.
"The first throw was really good, but then I lost my line completely and I am very upset and angry about this, despite the gold medal," Storl said.
But, if the triumph of this German perfectionist was expected, that of Pavey was not as she took on a field that included the defending champion from Portugal, Ana Dulce Felix.
"I didn't feel that confident because it felt like a long way, and I had to keep telling myself that this was what it felt like in the 10k, and that I had simply got to go for it and give it everything I'd got," Pavey said.
Asked how she had managed to earn such golden success at this stage of her career, Pavey - who has a four-year-old son, Jacob, and a ten-month old daughter Emily with her husband and coach Gavin, responded: "Maybe it's because I'm more relaxed in my running.
"I still train really hard but I'm a busy mum now and I think it has been good for me, and also given me more endurance."
On being told she was the oldest female European gold medallist, she commented: "I didn't know that.
"That's a really nice stat to have as well as the gold."
And there could be more joy to come.
"I wasn't thinking of retiring anyway, but this makes me even more determined to continue running," Pavey said.
"I know my legs will be absolutely dead tomorrow, but I want to compete in the 5,000 here as well.
"After that I will take it day-by-day.
"But I want to go back to the marathon again, because I know when I do retire I will want to have a better pb than I have right now."
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