We’re talking with Eloise Wellings – a great Friend of The Muesli and a woman who we admire enormously. Described as a Mum, Olympian & Philanthropist – Eloise is currently in training for the Rio Olympics later this year and she tells anyone who’ll listen, that The Muesli has been a very big part of her training regime since before the London Olympics.
Her preparation for Rio has been intense, running 5 half marathons in 2015 and she was a finalist in the World Championships in Beijing in August. She’s aiming to compete in both the 10,000m and 5,000m events in Rio.
Hopping on a plane to Cardiff on March 26th to compete in the World Half Marathon Championships, we asked her if she had a minute to chat to us for Friends of The Muesli – when she emailed for travel supplies for the coming trip.
TM: We love that you take The Muesli with you when you travel to compete – what does the trip to Cardiff do for your preparation for Rio?
EW: The trip to Cardiff is for the World half marathon championships. It’s my first major champs for this event and I’m really excited for it. It’s a great stepping stone in terms of building strength for the main event for me this year… The Olympics in Rio.
TM: Why does The Muesli work for someone who’s competing at the elite level in the endurance events that you do?
EW: The Muesli works for me because it’s a natural based food with high energy. It’s has slow release carbohydrates in the oats and plenty of protein in the nuts and seeds. It’s important for me as an endurance athlete and also just generally as a busy mum to have a diet loaded with sustained energy foods… So I have enough energy to get through the day without having that major crash and craving for sugar in the afternoon. This is why the muesli fits perfectly into my daily nutrition routine.
TM: You had your first child not that long ago. How do you balance the training, travelling and motherhood?
EW: It’s a juggling act that my husband and I are still mastering but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are blessed to take our little girl on the journey and even when some days are exhausting and chaotic, we know that this season will eventually come to an end and we want to make the most of it!
TM: You set up the charitable organisation Love Mercy Foundation, in Uganda, with former Ugandan athlete Julius Achon – What was the driving factor for establishing this and how is it going?
EW: I met Julius whilst training in the US back in 2008, we became great friends and he told me all about his community back in Northern Uganda and about the devastation of 25 years of civil war in his country. My husband and I formed a strong friendship with Julius and his wife Grace and we went to their wedding in Uganda in 2009 and witnessed the sheer poverty that people were enduring post war. Flying home, we thought that we should start something, a foundation, in Australia to raise resources to start community development projects in Northern Uganda to help Julius’s community and the surrounding villages get back on their feet. So we started the Love Mercy Foundation. We have been privileged to help build a health centre which services over 300 patients a month and also sponsor orphans of the war to get an education and be clothed and fed. Our main focus this year and for the future is our micro loan farming program called Cents For Seeds. Cents for Seeds is about empowering families to create their own livelihood and we are finding that it is breaking the cycle of poverty in entire communities. It’s taking away the need for the older model of child sponsorship because the harvest from the program enables the family to have enough money to send their own children to school. At the end of the season the woman will return her loan so that we can pass it onto another woman and family in need. This year we are running Cents for Seeds with 6,500 women and by 2020 the goal is to have 20,000 women in the program.
TM: What does a day in the life of an Olympic athlete consist of?
EW: Usually I’m up at 530am, I’ll be out of the door for training at 6 and home by 9am so my husband Jon can start work- he is owner of Bird and Bee Studio, wedding and portrait photography. I’ll take Indi to swimming or dancing or the park or whatever we have going on that day and then when I put her down for a nap at midday I do my strength session in our home gym and whatever work I need to get done for Love Mercy… Usually communicating with potential speaking opportunities. When indi wakes up we’ll hang out again until Jon finishes work at 6pm and I’ll head out for my second running session. I usually have dinner ready to go as soon as I get home and then I try and be in bed by 1030 ready to do it all again!
TM: What goes through your head while running a race?
EW: I try and keep it simple and have a mental plan going into a race. Think about form, making sure my thoughts and words are strong and encouraging.
TM: Which nations are the strongest and your main rivals in your events – Half Marathons and Olympics?
EW: The Africans are always the ones to beat in the distance events.
TM: If you weren’t competing at this level, what do you think you’d be doing?
EW: I have always thought I’d like to be a teacher if I wasn’t running.
TM: One last mention for The Muesli – we’ve been so thrilled to be on board with you for the journey through Commonwealth Games, Olympics, World Champs and everything else you manage to cram in – but know that if it didn’t work for you, you wouldn’t use it. Do you share the secret with others? Cause we’d love it if you did!
EW: Absolutely!!! Thanks The Muesli for being such an integral part of my team and a massive player in my nutrition for performance.
Thanks Eloise, you’re an absolute inspiration and all the best for World Half Marathon Championships and the Olympics in Rio!