Tyler Laplante of Penticton is competing in the sprint duathlon of the International Triathlon Union Multisport World Championships Festival on Saturday. He brings confidence into the event from his training and winning his age group in the Barebones Duathlon in May. Submitted photo

ITU a step towards big dream

ITU sprit duathlon part of process to Olympic dream

Competing in the Multisport World Championship open wave sprint duathlon is a step towards Tyler Laplante’s ultimate goal.

“I do have Olympic aspirations,” said Laplante. “I’m hoping for the (2020) Tokyo Olympics. If not, 2024 (in France).”

For now he plans to show what he can do in the five-kilometre run, 20-km bike and a 2.5-km run. Laplante has been working towards this for a long time and in the last six months, has devoted time to the duathlon. The 26-year-old won his age group in the Barebones Duathlon provincial championship last May in one hour seven minutes. Since he started racing two years ago, Laplante has always placed.

He got into the sport because his father Ronald stressed the importance of being healthy. At 69, the senior Laplante continues to be active by racing and has been a life-long runner.

“He’s a big inspiration for me in that way,” said Laplante.

There are no jitters for Laplante as he lines up at the starting line Saturday. He feels prepared. He is eager to see how he stacks up against the best and shows a confidence he can be there alongside them. He gets pushed by others, especially emerging athletes.

“It should be pretty exciting. It’s a good distance and I’m built very well for the speed,” said Laplante, who recently tested himself in the full distance and finished in one hour 20 minutes. His goal is to complete it in that time or faster.”