Moun­tain of work

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Ryan McAlis­ter achieved his goal of a top 20 fin­ish in the world moun­tain run­ning champs in Italy ear­lier this month, but he may be lost to the sport for a few years.

The Pau­ata­hanui 18- year- old came 14th in a field of 71 in the ju­nior sec­tion, an 8.8km course in the vil­lage of Ponte di Legno on Septem­ber 2. He says con­di­tions were chilly but the set­ting was su­perb, com­peti­tors start­ing in cob­bled streets be­fore mak­ing their way through an old ski­field.

McAlis­ter wanted to start strong be­fore set­ting a con­ser­va­tive pace, and was as high as 10th place at one point. He fin­ished just a minute out­side the top 10.

‘‘ It was tough to start, re­ally nar­row streets down in the town. It was quite ruth­less, with plenty of peo­ple crash­ing into each other and hit­ting bar­ri­ers, but I man­aged to stay out of trou­ble.’’

Due to the $5000 cost of com­pet­ing in Italy, McAlis­ter is con­sid­er­ing a step away from moun­tain run­ning un­til he is a lit­tle older.

With sum­mer ap­proach­ing, his at­ten­tion will turn to the track and cross-coun­try dis­ci­plines, but be­fore that he and his Welling­ton Har­ri­ers team- mates will try to take the na­tional road re­lay in Nel­son on Oc­to­ber 6.

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