Eloise Wellings

BIOGRAPHY

Eloise’s dream to become an Olympic athlete started at a young age. Holding the under 6’s record in the shot put at Little Athletics, she began to show promise as a middle and long distance runner at the age of 10 and moved her focus. Watching the Barcelona Olympics inspired her, and she decided that she wanted to one day compete for Australia.

Having qualified for the 2000 Sydney Olympics at just 16 years old, it seemed that her dream had come true. However, she suffered a heartbreaking stress fracture, her first of 11, and was unable to compete at the Olympics in her own backyard. Through this traumatic experience, Eloise found faith and a relationship with Jesus. 

She didn’t give up on her dream, and despite missing out on the Athens Olympics, and again on the Beijing Olympics due to injury, her dream finally came to fruition in 2012 where she represented Australia at the London Olympics in the 10,000m 5000m and track events, placing 21st and 23rd respectively.

Other career highlights include a gold medal in the 5000m University Games in 2003, 4th in the 5000m at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2004, and 6th at the Dheli Commonwealth games in the 10000m in 2010. 

Most recently at the Rio Olympics Eloise was the highest placing Australian Athlete in the history of the 10,000m finishing 10thin a personal best time. She followed her career best result with a 9th place finish in the 5000m final.

Eloise has taken on a leadership role amongst other female distance runners and acts a mentor and an inspiration to many young and upcoming athletes.

Eloise Wellings Q & A

What do you love about running?

What's not to love?! I'm so passionate about this sport! I love the mass participation events and watching everyday people complete an event that once seemed way out of their league. I love witnessing weekend warriors get out of their comfort zone- it's inspiring to me. I love the friends I meet, the places I get to go, the things I get to experience. But of the things I love most is the mental and physical challenge that running presents on a daily basis and the lessons from these challenges and the strength that you gain from pushing through and overcoming injuries and disappointments. These experiences have impacted and carried over into other areas of my life and I'm grateful for all that running has given me... even when it's been tough. 

What has been your career highlight and why?

I can't separate three highlights- my first Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 crazy home crowd, amazing atmosphere, performing well, placing 4th in the 5,000m in a PB of 15:00. 

London 2012 Olympics- my first Olympics after missing out on three previous Olympics due to injury, this was a special moment that still makes me well up when I think about it.

Rio 2016 Olympics- performing well, placing 10th in a PB in the 10,000m 31.14 and then making the 5,000m final with my team mates Genevieve LaCaze, Madeline Heiner and my Dutch training Partner Susan Krummins. I placed 9th in the 5,000m final in 15.01.

What is your current running goal?

The 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast my next big goal. Everything I do now is focussed towards being at my best for the games in April next year. 

How do you stay focused on your goal when things like injuries get in the way?

I think accepting that injuries are part of the sport is a huge step to dealing with them well and thriving despite them. Getting on with cross training and rehab and taking one day at a time (living in the moment and not worrying about tomorrow) when you're injured whilst still maintaining a focus on the BIG goal becomes the balance. But I've had (lots of) experience with this... knowing who I am apart from running has been crucial, that my value and identity is not defined by performance in running. It's my passion and my purpose but I don't let it define me. 

Do you have any tips for calming race day nerves?

Listening to music... on the top of my play list at the moment is Elastic heart and never give up by Sia and anything from the Wonder album by Hillsong United.

What are you looking forward to about the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival?

Witnessing everyday people getting out there and having a go. It inspires me. I'm looking forward to racing on the stunning course too. Sydney is such a beautiful city, my home city and running a race like BSRF is such a great way to appreciate and celebrate where we live. 

Where is your favourite place to run in Sydney?

I love Centennial Park for long runs and closer to home in Cronulla I love my 18km loop from home along the esplanade and out towards Botany Bay national park and back along the cycle path. 

What would you tell your 10-year-old self if you could go back in time?

I was 10 years old when my Olympic dream was birthed, I was inspired by watching the Barcelona Olympics on tv, it was 19 years and three failed attempts later that I finally lined up at my first Olympics in London. I would tell my 10-year-old self "It will be hard... but it will be worth it"...