RaceMill Collegiate: John Mering of UCLA Triathlon Getting primal with a licensed Elite UCLA triathlete By RaceMill // April 21, 2015 RM: How did you find your sport of choice?JM: I was a middle distance runner in high school (Boise HS) and college (Pomona). After college, I was pretty burned out on track/xc, and was mainly just training to remember the good times. The idea of getting on the bike and swimming was appealing. I was lucky to find a rad group at UCLA to race with.RM: What drives your competitiveness?JM: When I go out and race, it’s a chance to break everything down to a really primal level, and see what is possible. I prefer the highs and lows of racing and training to a steady state life. I also really feed off the energy of those around me. It’s definitely a collaborative process!RM: Group Training or do you prefer solitude? why?JM: I really think there’s a place for both. In terms of getting the most out of yourself, you can’t beat the power of the tribe. Everyone has off days, and when you’re down, your teammates pull you up. That said, it’s also good to go solo and look internally for strength and focus.RM: Best result so far?JM: Last fall, I had a couple solid races and earned an elite tri license, but I’d like to think there’s more to come!! During undergrad, I recorded marks of 1:51 and 3:49 in the 800m and 1500m, respectively.RM: What are you training for now?JM: USAT Collegiate Nationals in Clemson, S.C. This summer, I’m going to make a go at the fastest time across the Grand Canyon, North Rim to South Rim… that’s a semi-official record as the NPS isn’t stoked about people racing in park boundaries. We'll see how that turns out. Then, I’m hoping to compete in the pro field at XTerra USAs.RM: Training secrets? Care to share?JM: They wouldn’t be secrets if I shared ;) I just listen to my coaches: Brady, Dylan, and Ella. I try to stay positive, and the rest takes care of itself.