Going to Nationals: Tyler Daillak finishes fourth at Regional.

FOLSOM — Paso Robles’ own Tyler Daillak has qualified for United States Track and Field (USATF) 3000-meter National race in Tallahassee, Fla. on Dec. 9.  The 10-year-old distance runner has been making a name for himself around the Central Coast for the past couple of months.

There have been whispers, legends, even ghost stories about a 10-year-old blonde boy that has been zipping past people so fast they can barely even get a good look at him. Crowds of runners have began to gather at the finish lines of local 5Ks to get a chance to meet and take pictures with the young prodigy that dashed passed them after mile one.  

He finished sixth overall in the City to the Sea 5K on Oct. 8 and the average age of the five competitors who finished before him was 30. In the Paso Robles 5K a few weeks ago he finished fourth overall, again beating runners who own shirts older than he is.

Daillak has now turned his sights to racing against kids his own age and two weekends ago he entered a 2017 USATF Junior Olympics 3000 meter event.

“Tyler had to place in the top 30 there and he placed fifth,” Daillak’s father Steve said. “And that qualifies him to go to regionals.”

Last weekend Steve and Tyler made another trip to Folsom to run in the Regional 14 Championship.

“It was pretty much anyone from Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo, Monterey all the way up to the Oregon border and then into Nevada,” Steve Daillak said. “It just didn't include the central valley towns like Bakersfield and Stockton.”

The race was comprised of 45 of the top 9 and 10-year-old runners in the western region of the country and Daillak proved once again how great he can be. This was Daillak’s first race against the other top 9 and 10-year-olds in the region and the increased speed around him brought out his best.

Daillak finished the race in fourth place overall with a time of 11:48. He miraculously shaved 28 seconds off of his time from the week before. For the first time, Daillak had someone to push his pace and he ran nearly 30 seconds faster.

“My thing was I tried to find a kid that was running at a good pace for me,” Daillak said.

“Basically what that showed is that he hasn't run to his full potential yet,” his father added.

There is no telling just how fast Daillak can go, but he has an idea of where he would like to be by Nationals.

“My goal for Nationals is 11:41 to 11:35, somewhere in the middle of that,” Daillak said. Those numbers aren't arbitrary, that's the range of times that last year's top ten finished in Nationals.  

In just a month Daillak will be lining up next to 500 of the best runners in the country and could come home as one of top ten runners in all of the United States.

“I’m really nervous now that you mention that there is going to be people from all over the country,” Daillak said, but when his dad asked him if he thinks he can beat them he responded quickly and confidently, “yes.”

Daillak began running in third grade and hasn't stopped since. He runs not just because he is great at it but because he truly loves it and because it helps him. Daillak was given a diagnosis of something like autism spectrum with a sensitivity disorder at a young age and running allows him to burn off excess energy which in turn helps his focus and demeanor. Daillak’s father and even his teachers have noticed the joy in his eyes on days he can run.

“I really don't care where Tyler ends up racing I just want him to have fun,” Steve Daillak said. “He was all smiles at the end of that last race it was so neat to see how charged up he was on how good he felt when he ran. I love it when he gives it his all and has fun with it and I think that is what I find the most rewarding. To see him in his element, so focused, and then coming out of it so happy, he is just floating on air the rest of the day.”

With the past two races happening way up north and Nationals happening in Florida, Steve Daillak has created a GoFundMe account for anyone that would be willing to help with the expenses to get Tyler to Florida and represent the central coast nationally.

“I want to be able to do this again for him and it's getting kind of tough but I am going to do what I can,” Steve Daillak said. “It is so important to me to see him being able to flourish running like he is. It just does so much more for him even more than the just the running itself. It just helps him in so many more ways like in personal development and its worth it to me to keep him going. You know, I’ll take any help I can get, but no matter what I’m going to try and keep him running.”

You can find Daillak’s GoFundMe accout at: https://www.gofundme.com/tylers-running-fund?pc=em_db_co2876_v1&rcid=9b459d6b035f4b32804c1a7427c2d383


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