Triathletes are crazy. There, I said it. In my world, 1,500 metres of swimming, 40 kilometres of biking and 10 kilometres of running equals a whole bunch of ‘no thank you.’ But that’s not the case in Tyler Mislawchuk’s world.
Mislawchuk is a 19-year-old world-class triathlete. He is also a bit of a smarty pants, in his second year at the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business.
In the summer of 2009, Tyler started to do some cross training to complement his hockey and soccer and, next thing you know, he was hooked.
"I love the racing itself," Tyler says. "I love getting out there and trying to be the best I can be. I love competition."
Tyler had a heck of a year this year, finishing second at the Canada Games and 12th at the World Juniors.
"Coming 12th at the Worlds, I feel I could have done better strategically, but I raced my race and it didn’t play out as I had hoped."
If I ever took part in a triathlon, my strategy would involve planning when to either reach for an oxygen mask or scream for help.
"Being a triathlete is a mix of conditioning and mental. You see some people who are very fit but they are unable to red-line," Tyler says. "It is a huge benefit if you are able to suffer a lot. The sport is suffering."
Tyler is a part of the national developmental team. He trains about 25 hours per week on average.
I asked Tyler what his goals were.
"I think in short-term goals" he says.
"I am going to try to qualify for the Under-22 World Championships. The top two or three athletes in the country will go."
Tyler Mislawchuk has got it going on, excelling in the classroom and as a triathlete.
"The hardest thing is putting the three together: the fitness, the skill, and the mental. No one has mastered them all yet," Tyler says.
Sounds like you are well on your way Tyler, keep kickin’ butt.