Whitehaven win for Olympian Eloise Wellings
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.