Coach: Scott Westcott
Event: 5000m, 10,000m
Celia Sullohern started running while growing up in the Blue Mountains in NSW. Aged 14, she was already shining, clocking 9:52 for 3000 metres. Through her teenage years she was regularly on the podium at the national track and cross country championships. She competed at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships where she placed an outstanding 21st in the junior race. She signed off her junior track career with a brilliant 9:19 time over 3000m in November 2011. A month after she turned 20, she made a spectacular impact as a senior athlete, winning the 2012 Australian Open Cross Country title by 35 seconds. During her late teens, she had relocated to Newcastle to study physiotherapy and her talent continued to blossom in the strong distance running community in the area. She competed at the 2013 World Cross Country Championships and shortly after graduating from University, she placed fourth (third Aussie) in her Zatopek debut in December 2014.
Her progress was halted in early 2015 with a serious injury. She travelled to Wollongong to commence her first job as a physiotherapist at Wollongong Hospital, but before she could report for duty she arrived in emergency as a patient. She had been competing in the Wollongong Aquathon where she cut her foot on an oyster shell slicing the tendon in her right foot.
It would be a long wait to return for Sullohern. Now based on the NSW North Coast in Yamba, by 2016 she was competing in some triathlons and running road races, including a low-key marathon debut of 2:53.40 in July on the Gold Coast. Twelve months later she stunned with a marathon time of 2:34.38 – a Commonwealth Games qualifier. Over the next five months she went undefeated in three major races. In August she won the City to Surf and then in October the Melbourne Marathon. He marathon time of 2:29.27 moved to the tenth fastest in Australian history. But it left her ranked just fourth amongst Australia’s Commonwealth Games qualifiers.
In December she ran her first track race for three years, the Zatopek 10,000m, which doubled as the national title and Commonwealth Games trial. Her win with a B qualifier secured automatic nomination for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. She then decided to contest her first track 5000m race for six years at the 2018 Australian Championships/Commonwealth Games trials and ran away with the race in a B qualifier and achieved automatic selection.
Marathon, 10,000m and first of the para-athletes named at the MCG
Ignore Team Australia at your peril says Patrick Tiernan ahead of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala
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