It’s not all downhill for Tyler Dozzi just yet.
Terrace runner Dozzi is now onto his last three U20 races — with the final event set to be a national-record attempt.
On Dec.1, he’ll be headed to Boston, USA to compete in the Under 20 Indoor 5K where he says he hopes to become the next Canadian to hold the title.
“It would be huge for me, I’ve won races before and I’m really proud but a race is something that a new runner comes around and wins every single year,” says Dozzi. “[To beat the record would] kind of feel like the hard work I’ve put in will be more immortalized and that’s really big to me.”
The current top record for that race is 14:18:97, set in 2016 by Ehab El-Sandali at the same track. Dozzi says he’s run faster than that during the summer outdoors, but because the conditions are different, timing is generally affected indoors.
“I know it’s not an easy one and I mean there’s a reason it’s a national record. It’s very difficult and props to the people who have broken it before.”
Dozzi says he got the idea to run this race after meeting the record holder, who is a year older than him.
“I’m kind of stealing from this guy’s playbook,” says Dozzi with a laugh. “I figured this was my best shot to do it the same way he did, but try to run it a little bit faster.”
When he turns 20, Dozzi will no longer be a junior. He will move up to the general rankings where he’ll be competing against everyone, including Olympians. He says it’s much harder to aim for records as there are no age groups.
The indoor meet is being held at Boston University and Dozzi says it will likely be all American athletes there, but he’s not looking to be the first in their race. He’s only competing against the record he’s attempting to break. When it comes to regulating records, he just needs to compete on a valid track that’s been approved by affiliated running organizations.
To warm-up for the grand finale of his junior running career, he’ll be competing in two 10K cross country competitions, the U Sports Nationals and the U20 Canadian Championships, coming up this month. Both will take place in Kingston, Ont.
When he’s done for the season, Dozzi says he’ll be taking a break as he’s currently in his second-year at UBC studying mechanical engineering.
But that break will be a short one — as he’s expecting to be back on track come this February.