Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

SHE came, saw and con­quered the Great White­haven Beach Run and now Olympian Eloise Wellings has her sights set on the Com­mon­wealth Games.

A prodi­gious ju­nior tal­ent, Wellings was orig­i­nally se­lected to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia at the Syd­ney Olympics when she was just 16, but a stress frac­ture robbed her of a fairy­tale home event.

On Satur­day she clocked a time of 1.29.28 hours in the half-marathon to claim vic­tory from Belt­hazer Nel and Thomas Robert­son.

“It was great, I had fun out there,” she said.

“It’s such a beau­ti­ful place to run, it’s like run­ning in par­adise.

“I re­ally en­joyed it and I was cheer­ing ev­ery­one on dur­ing the race and they were cheer­ing me on, so there was a lot of ca­ma­raderie out there.

“It’s one of the top 10 beaches in the world and it’s great to bring my fam­ily here and have a nice day.”

Wellings said the strong head­wind and run­ning on sand made life dif­fi­cult.

But she con­ceded the beach run was ex­cel­lent prepa­ra­tion for her up­com­ing sched­uled events, in­clud­ing the World Cham­pi­onships in Bei­jing in Au­gust.

“(Run­ning on sand) makes it tough but I like that be­cause it makes it a good train­ing run,” she said.

“You’ve got to get used to all con­di­tions. It’s never go­ing to be per­fect – you can’t con­trol the weather. Even at the Olympics you’ve got to be ready for all con­di­tions, so I like it.

“The tough con­di­tions give you a lot of prac­tice.”

Wellings has her sights set on the Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games in 2016.

“I went to Mel­bourne in 2006 and if I make Gold Coast, it will be my fourth (Com­mon­wealth Games). And noth­ing beats a home games, so I def­i­nitely want to make it,” she said. Iron­man Ky Hurst was also on White­haven, pre­sent­ing the win­ners with their prizes. The Hamil­ton Is­land am­bas­sador didn’t par­tic­i­pate due to ill­ness.

Photo: Kea­gan Ryan

FIRST: Olympian Eloise Wellings crosses the line at the Great White­haven Beach Run on Satur­day.

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