Former Timaru Boys' High School middle-distance runner, Brett Clifford, is training at altitude in Kenya in the hope of increasing his chances of an American college scholarship.
The 19-year-old is based in Iten, a small town in the Rift Valley province of Kenya, 2400m above sea level.
The town has produced many world champions and is commonly known as the capital of the running worldwide.
He said it was common to have Olympic medallists training alongside him.
Clifford said because the air was so thin, it made training difficult but he hoped he would see the benefits of it when he returned to New Zealand.
Clifford is halfway through his two-month training excursion with New Zealand runner Jake Robertson and his Kenyan crew.
Robertson left for Kenya six years ago, with his twin Zane, when they were 17.
Clifford said knowing another New Zealand athlete had thrived in the Kenyan training environment made his decision to train there a lot easier.
Clifford has three training runs a day, the first at 5.30am and the last at 5pm, with meals and short periods of sleep mixed in.
The 2010 Rod Dixon Mile winner said he would be back in Timaru next month to prepare for the Lovelock Mile which will be raced at the Aorangi Park All-weather track on January 5.
- South Canterbury