The eyes of the sporting world will be on Ellie Pashley on Saturday when the former Albury schoolgirl lines up for the start of the Olympic women's marathon.
Pashley, who was Ellie O'Kane during her time on the Border, will take on the best distance runners on the planet in the heat of Sapporo as the Games of 2020 reach their climax.
It's the culmination of a sporting journey which began at Albury's Alexandra Park, more than 15 years ago.
"We used to take her to little athletics on Saturday morning when she was six or seven," dad Brendan O'Kane said.
"We ran her, and her sisters, to a lot of different sports and they made great friends through sport. Albury was very good for that.
"They went on to compete at regionals and representative level. We travelled around NSW and Victoria to athletics or for netball or basketball and it was just great family fun.
"Running was where Ellie had the most talent and she loved it.
"She's also a good swimmer and played a bit of water polo as well. She gave everything a go but she kept up the running, at some level, all the time.
"She started doing Nail Can a few times and distance cross-country running.
"I said to her, when she was about 20, that she should take it seriously and get a coach and a proper training program.
"She said 'I've got plenty of time, female distance runners don't peak until their late 20s or early 30s' so she just eased herself into it without taking it too seriously too early.
"In some ways, she's avoided a burnout (by doing that) but at the same time, kept going and kept competing at a high level."
Pashley, who attended St Patrick's Parish School, spent two years at Scots School before completing her school studies at Xavier High.
A talented netballer for North Albury, she went on to play for Anglesea in the Bellarine League after relocating to Aireys Inlet on the Great Ocean Road but the decided to put running first when the sports began to clash.
"In a normal week, she does about 160k," O'Kane said.
"There's a lot of running and you go without a lot as far as partying and a social life is concerned - to a degree. Ellie's been fairly balanced and she will go out with friends but you can't go and have a big night and then get up and do a 30k run the next day.
"She puts in a lot of time, she's spent a lot of money travelling to events, flying overseas to compete so she's put off a lot of things just to compete at the highest level she can."
Pashley, 32, ran the 10,000m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha with her parents cheering from the stands as she clocked a personal-best of 31:18.19.
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But tomorrow, Brendan and wife Pauline will be watching on TV like the rest of us as Pashley pits her wits against the might of the Kenyan runners, with Sinead Diver, Lisa Weightman also representing Australia.
"I'm very excited and starting to get a little bit nervous for Ellie," O'Kane admitted.
"But she seems to be calm. She's very laid-back, she doesn't get too intense, she's focused and there's a quiet determination.
"Ellie's quietly competitive, she's not over the top.
"It's huge, watching her compete internationally.
"To get to the Olympics is just fantastic. She's up there with the best in the world so it's a huge buzz.
"It's disappointing we can't get to Tokyo but given what everybody else is going through, I suppose we're OK with it. We're just glad she can go there to compete.
"We were going to have a watch party but we'll be cheering very loudly over our breakfast and there might be a bottle of champagne there.
"For the rest of her life, she'll be an Olympian.
"It's a huge achievement and I just want her to enjoy the moment."
The race starts at 7am, having been brought forward because of expected high temperatures.
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