Australian distance runner Eloise Wellings has given a scary account of her experience late in Sunday's Valencia Marathon, saying she battled "a hypo episode with blurry vision", revealing "lights fully went out" and noting an "incoherent conversation" she apparently had but cannot remember.
Wellings was one of four Australian women who nailed Paris 2024 qualifiers in the Spanish city, with Genevieve Gregson posting 2:23:08, Izzi Batt-Doyle 2:23:27, Lisa Weightman 2:24:18 and Wellings 2:25:47.
"Ninety-five per cent of it was some of the best micro moments of my running days so far," wrote Wellings, who's aiming to become a three-time Olympian at Paris 2024.
"I've never smiled so much in a marathon and the things that I loved about this race leave me excited to show up again.
"Yesterday revealed to me all over again the things I love about this sport … and also one of the things that kinda sucks — marathons are a game of margins.
"The not so ideal five per cent included a hypo episode with blurry vision kicking off at 37 kilometres. Until then I was on pace for 2:23 and running with clear air with my teammate @gengen_lacaze [Gregson]. I lost valuable time in the next three kilometres to manage the blur until lights fully went out at 41 kilometres. Stopping, hanging over the barricade with just 900 metres left to run, I had an apparently incoherent conversation with a Spanish man [which I have zero memory of lol] and then up and getting running again in what I hoped was the general direction of the finish line."
Wellings also said she lost a couple of minutes in the final five kilometres because she missed the 28-kilometre drinks station.
"And so here I am, lying in bed at 3am googling marathons in early 2024 … because that dream day is just a small margin away," the 41-year-old wrote.
Wellings is a national champion over 5,000m and 10,000m, and contested those events at London 2012 and Rio 2016, but in recent years has moved to the marathon.
Her marathon personal best is 2:25:10, recorded at last year's Nagoya Marathon in Japan.
Wellings is one of seven women vying for Paris 2024 selection on the Australian women's marathon team, along with Gregson, Batt-Doyle, Weightman, Sinead Diver, Ellie Pashley and Jessica Stenson.
Athletics Australia selectors have a tough job on their hands as they mull over a complicated qualification situation.