Sutherland’s Eloise Wellings is one of Australia’s finest all round distance runners, with a very impressive range of personal best including 4:13 (1500m), 8:42 (3000m), 14:54 (5000m) and 31:41 (10,000m).
Her 2006 season was particularly special, clocking her five fastest 3000m times, three fastest 5000m times and her 1500m personal best. The season championships included the Commonwealth Games and IAAF World Cup. Now in 2014, she is again in great form and the season includes the same championships.
Wellings took time to reflect on one of her finest ever races, the 3000m at the 2006 IAAF World Cup where she ran her personal best a time which remains her best every time by over five seconds.
“I'd had such a great year of running - at home at the Commonwealth Games, then World Cross Country in Japan and then on the track again in Europe, it really was the year that helped me believe that I could mix it with the best,” recalled Wellings.
“I remember the World Cup well, it was the last track race of the season so I was excited just to run hard and see what I could do. I remember Nic (Bideau) and Sonia (O’Sullivan) telling me that I should go out and just give it a good shake up, and that World Cup is typically not run fast because of the prize money on offer, everyone is looking to get a place and so typically nobody wants to lead, so they said why not you lead it out and try and run the rest into the ground. Normally this would scare me because it's a hard way to run a race but I remember being super excited to just get out and see what I can do.”
She remembered her final preparation.
“I was at the warm up track when I got a text from Sonia O' Sullivan, who was my childhood hero and she just said "be brave" and I was like ok! I ended up fourth but I know that I would never have run a pb if I didn't run it like I did and lead it out so I was happy enough. The only regret I had was that running down the home straight I was in third and then I slowed down a few metres before I hit the finish line and Kara Goucher ran over the top of me at the finish line. I resolved that if it was anyone though I'd want it to be Kara, she's a great athlete and a good friend. “
Wellings clocked 8:41.78, her fourth sub 8:50 run of the season, it was number two on the Australian all-time list behind Benita Willis. Now in 2014, no other Australian has run within seven seconds of Wellings and Willis personal bests.
Now in 2014, Wellings is enjoying another good season. Her fifth place in the 5000m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games was a tremendous piece of running and her time of 15:14.99 was her fastest for four years.
Next stop for her is the Continental Cup (formerly World Cup) where she will contest the 5000m.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW
Source: Athletics New South Wales Website