Monday Morning Motivation: Overland Triathlon

Still image from Overland Triathlon film showing a group of people in trisuits or swimming trunks getting ready to race.

This past summer, four professional triathletes and one amateur national champion set out to show that triathlon can be whatever you want it to be. Gravel, check. Non-standard format, check. Hardcore workout, definite check.

Eric Lagerstrom: Professional triathlete and the guy who decided to make this film.

Trevor Wurtele: Professional triathlete and husband of Heather Wurtele.

Chris Ganter: Professional triathlete specialising in off-road events.

Nate Youngs: XTERRA champion

Matt Berg: Retired pro triathlete



My life flashed before my eyes!


Eric Lagerstrom: The best part about any sort of adventure like this is that you’re sharing with people and you continue to share it after the fact. It’s not just about being in that moment. It’s, you know, you talked about him, ‘remember when you went through that tree and you barely missed it and I was right behind you’ and I think that’s just that’s such a key part of what Transition Four is entirely about. The goal is pretty simple: we want to get the fastest time that we possibly can across this course, biking up the mountain, running halfway around the lake and back, and then diving in and actually swimming straight across the lake. We’re gonna record each individual part of that, but then have one running time for the whole thing and really try to set a new multi-sport record for this.

Trevor Wurtele: I put this on the schedule before Ironman Canada, you know. I wanted to come be a part of Overland Triathlon a great way to get back into some activity and stoked to be here.


Chris Ganter: Hey everybody! What’s up! We’re on our way to the Overland Triathlon. Up to Mount Hood.

This year, I’ve been all about like new experiences, this kind of stuff. I did the Dirty Kanza, The Crusher and the tush er) this is kind of like a last hurrah, having fun sort of like a send-off transition from one phase of my life to the other. Coming from an Xterra background, I’m no stranger to the single track and running on rough terrain. This is gonna be actually fairly buffed out for us.

Nate Youngs: Yeah, I’ve ridden a lot of it. The part that I’m super amped about is the added weight – with the single track it’s super fun. I think I could probably handle the bike, the running, the swim – jet pack was in the mail that but it didn’t get here in time! UPS, you know!

It’s Matt’s bike. I’m sure he won’t mind!


Matt Berg: Snot hanging out of my nose! I’ve been doing triathlon now for over 20 years. Swimmer and a runner in high school and in college. Got into the  sport doing a relay and I got hooked ever since.


Nate Youngs: When Eric approached me, it was just super awesome to be a part of and I was like, yeah, hands down, for sure. I love the adventure triathlon, off-road which I like, trail running and swimming at the end, it’s all good.


Eric Lagerstrom: My ultimate goal with this entire project is that people will make it halfway through the film and they’ll close their laptop because they want to go out and ride themselves. They want to immediately call up their buddies and go and plan their own trip like this.


Trevor Wurtele: The one thing keeps me coming back to triathlon is the variety. I mean with triathlon. I mean, yeah, we train a lot and we have to focus on all three sports, but you get that variety.


Eric Lagerstrom: In terms of equipment that we’ll be using, everybody’s riding gravel bikes. That’s really, you know, the weapon of choice for something like this. I’d say the single track at the beginning is a little bit of unknown. I don’t think anybody in the group has ever ridden that – certainly not on a cyclocross bike. Most people would pick a mountain bike for that route, but hopefully we can make it through there without having any pinch flats or mechanicals or anything.


Chris Ganter: My overall strategy for this whole experience is really to just kind of try something new. Explore this beautiful state of Oregon, kind of get out and ride with my buddies. That’s what it’s all about.


Eric Lagerstrom: Let’s make it through that section. We just have a big 8-mile-climb, Hill Creek Road. We can all keep together to the top of that ,then we’ve got this nice long highway section where we can just pace line, really work together to keep bringing down that that overall time that we wouldn’t be able to get for one of us who’s doing it just by ourselves.


Eric Lagerstrom: For the most part we’re trying to do it as self-supported as possible. We’re carrying the shoes for the run and the cap and goggles or whatever you might think you need for the swim or the run. If somebody brings paddles or snorkel or flippers or whatever that’s totally cool but it might weigh them down.


Nate Young: I run with a pair of core shorts and some paddles and you know the trade-off is you got to run with it, so I had a backpack on during the run but 10k is a little bit of a ways for me right now. I started to feel sore even like in the last 30k.


Matt Berg: Yeah, a bit of tough day. I think I got a bit dehydrated even though I brought 90 ounces of fluid with and plenty of calories. Tried to conserve a little bit on the run and to get to the swim.


Matt Berg: Heads down and like yeah – oooh! Old man bringing up the rear. Any more water around?

Trevor Wurtele: What we did today just takes that to another level. I mean you get out of that typical swim bike run Olympic Distance/Half Ironman/Ironman framework and just go and do what you want to do and turn it into an event that’s not even in that order, not even anything to do with those distances. Just pick a point. I want to go here, I want to go there, and you know a straight shot swim across the lake. It’s pretty epic.


Eric Lagerstrom: Probably my favorite moment from the day was during the swim. We’re probably halfway across the lake and I’d finally sighted the shore even though smoke was there and stuff and I just, you know, almost it was like well what happened underwater because I thought I can’t believe that I’m doing this right now. That I’m out doing triathlon exactly where I want to do it, the way that I want to do it and making a film about it that will hopefully get in front of other people and share that energy and the excitement that I’m feeling right now. It’s so cool!


Nate Young: I wonder if it would have made a difference if we didn’t stop and wait like when you missed the turn.


Matt Berg: I’ve been a swimmer since I was young ‘un. I swam in high school through college and so I was kind of excited to get in the water but my legs had something else to say about it.

Nate Young: I think fins would have been worse I would have cramped even faster.

Matt Berg: It wouldn’t have mattered.

Trevor Wurtele: The swim for me, I was really happy the swim. The rubber swim skin was totally correct. The water temperature was just a little too cold to go bare skin and I was happy to carry that for 10k just a peace of mind that I’m going to stay warm.


Eric Lagerstrom: If it means floating shorts, it means a pull buoy, if it means paddles or flippers or whatever just get out there and move through nature.


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