Hot Springs cross-country runner Elena McAllister is getting set to represent her home town and county in Australia this coming summer.
The high school student was selected last year to represent the USA for cross country in Australia but was able to roll over her trip to this year.
“I have only been running for a couple of years and last year there was only two of us. So I am really excited that I was even chosen,” she said.
The young athlete has also been gaining the help from her family and community to raise the funds needed for the trip.
“We leave on June 26 and fly back on July 5,” she said.
McAllister will be part of the Down Under Sports Tournaments. The trip will also include some “Down Under” specialties which include a trip to the Great Barrier Reef and getting up close with some of the countries most unique local animals.
Though she will have a little time to do some exploring in the Sunshine State known as Queensland, there is also the opportunity to work with college cross-country coaches that are a part of the program.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the coaches that they have on the team. I have been really fortunate with my cross-country coaches at Hot Springs High School, and now to work with other coaches, it’s really amazing,” said McAllister.
As a part of the competition side of the trip, McAllister will be competing in one of Australia’s most prestigious marathons, the Gold Coast Marathon.
McAllister and her team will be running the 5.7k section of the race and she said it was one of the highlights she was looking forward to doing.
Now in January, with the months creeping up McAllister is still hitting the pavement fundraising for her trip.
She recently completed the raffle ticket selling to which the money raised will go toward the bulk of the expenses of the trip.
Then Jan. 27, the young runner will be selling tacos at the Hot Springs High School during the wrestling match.
“I still have some fundraising to do, but everyone who I have asked have been very generous. I’m hoping we can raise a bit of money with the next one,” she said.
Mom Tammy is also very excited for her daughter,” We[family] are so proud of her and just excited that she gets to have an experience such as this.”
Needless to say the young runner from regional Northwest Montana will certainly be having a trip of a lifetime come this summer break.
“I think I’ll be more than ready, my PE teacher and cross country coach have been helping me stay fit and ready to compete in Australia. I’m just so excited to represent Sanders County and Hot Springs,” said McAllister.