Black bear kills 16-year-old boy during race in Alaska

A 16-year-old runner has died after being attacked by a black bear on Sunday afternoon during the Bird Ridge Trail Race in Anchorage Alaska

That all changed shortly after noon Sunday.

"I've been running in the mountains for 30 years", said Brad Precosky, head of the race., according to KTUU.

"This is the worst thing that could happen", says the director of an Alaska trail race that ended in tragedy Sunday. Sometimes that means nothing; other times, it's really serious. He said he was being chased by a bear.

Pararescuers with the Alaska Air National Guard used a helicopter hoist to take the boy's body away from the scene, said Sgt. Nathan Mitchell with the Anchorage Police Department.

The teen had been running with a pack of competitors, but they reportedly lost track of him at some point.

The teen was discovered off the trail.

The race director, who had been handing out awards, organised a search party of runners after he was shown the message. They returned - weaponless - to the trail.

Crockett said bear encounters are not common on Bird Ridge. One runner said he had seen a bear circling a teen.

John Weddleton, who was not racing but was in the crowd, was first to find the boy after the attack, according to news station KTUU. "But right now I don't have any information about the bear".

"I ran up to cheer, came down, and thought, I might as well go back up", he said. "No motion. He looked terrible", Weddleton told KTUU-TV. "Just people pointing up at the trail".

A search was launched immediately, Precosky said. "This is not - it's not something I want to see". A park ranger confirmed shooting at a 250-pound bear. It was not clear how the runner got off the trail, or if he had been chased by the bear to the spot.

Witnesses say the black bear was large in size.

Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Officials attempted to locate the boy, whose body was found about a mile up the path, at about 1,500 vertical feet.

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