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Crowd carries Sullohern to City2Surf victory

Yamba athlete Celia Sullohern won the women’s division in the City2Surf in Sydney at the weekend. Image: Contributed.

More than 80,000 people took part in the 14 kilometre dash, jog or walk from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach at the weekend – and there was probably no one more surprised than Yamba athlete Celia Sullohern when she crossed the City2Surf finish line and claimed the women’s title.
The feeling, she says, was “amazing”. Searching for the right words, Sullohern says, “I can’t really describe it…. That feeling of coming down into Bondi: the crowd, the sun and just feeling like you are running on air.”
She says the spectators’ cheering carried her “all the way along the course. It makes such a difference; even when you’re feeling a bit tired at different spots and it [the cheering], you know, just lifts you back up and gets you going.
“So that was a pretty cool experience.”
When asked if her time was near the record, she replies, with a chuckle, “I don’t know, to be honest.”
Were there any expectations of chalking up a win? “No, not at all; it’s one of those bucket list races that I just sort of entered during the week. It was a last minute decision.
“It’s a good atmosphere run, because there is so much going on.
“Everyone’s there and it’s such an iconic race to do.”
Sullohern has been running for as long as she can remember. “I ran a lot with cross country and athletics growing up in the Blue Mountains,” she says, “I can’t really remember not running.
“I’ve enjoyed recently mixing it up with triathlon with Clarence Valley Triathlon Club and training with Swift [Multi Sport – Darren Adams].
Adams says that competing in triathlons – run, swim, bike – has helped Sullohern improve her “strength and endurance”.
“I think it gives me a bit of balance in terms of strength,” she says. “It also helps prevent injuries a little bit more.
“I just enjoy the social side and training and racing with other people – and it makes training a little bit more interesting.”
And, there is the pure act of just running, too, which, for Sullohern, is her real motivation, rather than competing. “Sometimes you go out with a problem and your brain sort of works on it and you come back and you can go ahead with your day – it starts the right way, always,” she says.
Ambitions for the future? “I haven’t thought too much ahead. I’ve just been enjoying one race at a time.
“I suppose I will have to sit down and have a look at where to from here; but I haven’t planned.”

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