NEW PLYMOUTH, NZL—Tyler Mislawchuk fought through cramping in his legs to post a ninth-place finish at the New Plymouth World Triathlon Cup on Sunday.
The 28-year-old was in the medal mix with the world’s best throughout the sprint distance race where he clocked a time of 57:18 for ninth spot.
“Athletes always want a little more, but it was a solid race,” said the Oak Bluff, Manitoba resident.
Mislawchuk tackled the one-lap, 750-metre swim in the Tasman Sea where he came out of the water 19 seconds behind the leaders before getting onto the bike for the 20-kilometre ride up and down the short, sharp hills around Mt. Taranaki.
“By the time we got to the top of the first hill, I had connected with the lead group, so it was a massive effort on the bike that I was really proud of,” added Mislawchuk, who was closing the gap on the lead pack with a trio of riders. “I was on all day, and up front, so that’s something to be proud of.
“We put 90 seconds into the chase group. In a sprint distance it just shows how hard those guys were riding. I paid for that effort a bit.”
Riding at the front of the pack into second transition, Mislawchuk went into battle mode when foot hit pavement for the five-kilometre run.
“I didn’t run anywhere to where my standard is. I had some pretty bad cramping,” he said. “I ran to the best of my abilities with the cramping.
“It’s a different kind of pain. You are not breathing hard, but you can’t go any faster. It is like a car stuck in third gear and you can’t get to fourth, fifth or sixth. I did the best I could and ended up with a top-10. The fitness is definitely there and something to build on.”
A trio of Kiwis and one athlete from Portugal found their top gear in New Plymouth while surging away from the field and running for the podium.
Hayden Wilde broke away to win the gold medal with a time of 55:57. His New Zealand teammate, Tayler Reid, won a photo finish to claim the silver medal at 56:32 over Portugal’s Ricardo Batista.
Brock Hoel, of West Kelowna, B.C., placed 18th at 57:48. Martin Sobey (Charlottetown) was 28th at 58:10. Victoria’s Liam Donnelly finished 46th at 1:00:14, and Clayton Hutchins was 52nd (1:02:39).
Quebec City’s Noémie Beaulieu was the lone Canadian to finish the women’s sprint race. The 19-year-old placed 42nd at 1:08:37. Amelie Kretz (Sainte-Therese, Que.) did not finish.
Two New Zealanders also finished on top of the women’s field. Nicole Van Der Kaay was first across the line at 1:02:57. Ainsley Thorpe clocked-in at 1:03:06 for second. Norway’s Solveig Lovseth captured the bronze medal at 1:03:14.