Boise State true freshman Allie Ostrander is in Snowdonia, North Wales, about to compete in the 31st World Mountain Running Championships tomorrow.
Ostrander will be facing the top mountain runners from around the world, as there will be over 300 athletes from 32 countries competing. Ostrander, who was selected in August to be on the United States Junior Women's Team, joins fellow Americans Katie Bowe of Midlothian, Virginia and Lily Tomasula Martin of Estes Park, Colorado.
(Photo by Andy Wacker--Ostrander is second from right in front)
"It's really exciting to have this opportunity," Ostrander said. "It hasn't really hit me yet."
(BroncoCountry video by Shelby Ransom)
Ostrander and the junior women's field will run a 4.8-kilometer race featuring 250 meters of elevation gain. There will be a steep uphill grade in the first half of the race and a downhill grade in the latter half. The top two finishers for each country will determine the team champion and individual champions will also be crowned.
Ostrander is an accomplished and experienced mountain runner, a six-time junior champion in the Mount Marathon race in Seward, Alaska. Allie began her streak at age 12, beating girls five years older than her. In 2014, Allie not only won her sixth junior girls title; she beat all the boys as well, becoming the first junior girl in the history of the race to finish first overall.
As she came down from the mountain, Ostrander spotted boys leader Michael Marshall just ahead of her. She kicked in another gear in the final stretch of the race, a distance of approximately 1,000 meters on city streets that led from the mountain to the finish line on Fourth Avenue. Ostrander finished 42 seconds ahead of Marshall and over seven minutes ahead of the second-place girl. Although separate races are held for senior men and senior women (those 18 and over), the juniors all race together.
Ostrander finished the race in 28 minutes, 54 seconds, about 90 seconds better than her personal best, and a new junior girls record.
This past July, Ostrander ran in the seniors race for the first time, crossing the finish line second only to Emelie Forsberg. Forsberg shattered the senior women's record of 50:30 set by Nancy Pease in 1990 by finishing in 47 minutes, 48 seconds, but Ostrander also broke Pease's record with a time of 50:28.
According to www.Seward.com, the Mount Marathon Race began as an organized run in 1915, and has become a regular part of the Independence Day celebration in Seward. According to information obtained from www.arrs.net, the Mount Marathon is the 13th-oldest foot race in the United States, and is believed to be the oldest mountain race in the U.S.
The juniors race first at the World Mountain Running Championships tomorrow beginning at 11:15 a.m. Wales time (4:15 a.m. Mountain Time in the USA).