Mountain of work
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.