Run of 9 years comes to end

SHARE

A great run at the Colgate Games has come to an end for Timaru athlete Alice Ritchie.

Alice (14) competed in her ninth Colgate Games last month, an event in which she first took part as a 6-year-old but, due to age restrictions, will not be eligible to take part in next year.

“I started in Timaru and ended in Timaru,” she said of the event which is hosted in a different centre each year.

Alice, who competes in running and walking events, finished her Colgate career in January with a win in the 2km walk and third in the medley relay.

“It’s really sad, but it’s also [nice to have done] nine of them.”

This year she plans to focus on more senior events, including the nationals in Hamilton and the South Island championships in Timaru, both next month.

Alice is also changing schools this year, swapping Craighead Diocesan School for St Margaret’s College in Christchurch.

However, she plans to remain dedicated to South Canterbury, whenever possible.

“I think I might stay with South Canterbury [while competing] because I’m hopefully going to come home at weekends,” she said.

“So I’ll definitely stay with my coach, Grant Lord.”

One aspect she was looking forward to about Christchurch was the chance to make use of Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub, a new facility due to open later this year.

The facility, to benefit a wide range of sporting codes, will include an international standard athletics track and field.

The athletics area will feature a 400m, nine-lane track, grassed multi-use field area, covered spectator seating for more than 300 people, a control centre with a photo-finish tower, offices and storage.

Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub comprises 83ha of recreation and esplanade reserve and other park land near Wigram.

The facility will come in handy for Alice, who trains six days a week.

“Four days a week we have a competition day and I do long distance in my own time; and then there’s one day off,” she said of her most recent training schedule.