1859 interviewed Oregon Track Club Elite runner Tyler Mulder before the 2012 Olympic Trials (where he finished an agonizing fifth, missing the Olympic team by less than a second). He spoke about his injury history, his long-term goals, and his favorite Eugene bars.
Name: Tyler Mulder
Hometown: Orange City, IA
Current Residence: Eugene, OR
Years Competing: two years professionally
How did you get started in your sport?
I started running in middle school through youth programs like the Hershey’s track meet.
What are some notable highs from your career?
I was the 2008 NCAA indoor champion in the 800m and a multiple time All-American in the 800m, distance medley relay and the 4 x 400m relay. I also had a fourth place finish at the 2011 Pan American Games.
What is the lowest point you’ve experienced? How did you bounce back?
My lowest point occurred when I was injured with IT-band issues in 2010, my first year as pro. I bounced back by doing the small things to take care of my body. It was a real eye opener for me to realize how much it takes to really train at this level.
What are your goals, both short term and long term?
Short-term goals are to make the Olympic and World Championship teams and to make the finals at both meets. I hope to run under 1:44 soon, too.
Long-term goals are to take care of my body so I can continue running as long as possible. I’d like to start a career in coaching somewhere along the way.
Would 2012 be your first Olympic team?
This would be my first Olympic team, and would be a huge honor and accomplishment for me.
What surprises have you experienced in your career?
I haven’t had too many surprises, but it’s taken me to some beautiful parts of the world that I never thought I would see, from Australia to the Mediterranean Sea to the mountains in Arizona.
What brought you to Oregon?
Eugene and the Oregon Track Club really appealed to me as a junior in college when I came out for the 2008 Olympic Trials. I had Matt Scherer and Nick Symmonds in my preliminary heat, from which I failed to advance, but the structure and organization of the team really attracted me. That, and the Nike contract of course.
What is your favorite thing about Oregon athletically?
I really enjoy the facilities that the University of Oregon allows us to use, like the Cassanova Center and Hayward field. Living across from Autzen Stadium and PK Park makes it easy to attend fun sporting events. I also really enjoy doing my training runs on Pre’s Trail, and the Valley River bike path.
When you’re not training or competing, what do you like to do?
I like to spend time watching new movies, playing video games and heading out to Sweet Cheeks Winery with friends. I just enjoy not being on my feet. I also have a girlfriend and golden retriever with whom I enjoy spending most of my time.
Hobbies? Favorite restaurant? Favorite hangout?
Hobbies would include video games and watching football. My favorite restaurant in Eugene would probably be the Sweet Basil Thai restaurant. My favorite hangout in the offseason would either be the Side Bar, the Cooler or the O Bar. Any bar with lots of TVs and a beer, and I’m a happy camper.