Wanna "tri" something new? Check out the Wanderlust 108, dubbed "the world kindest triathlon" and more suited to the mindful set than the type-A overachievers often associated with traditional triple-sport races. "Unlike most triathlons, we place community above competition, inner peace above power, and self-awareness above strength," reads the 108’s website.
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First launched in New York's Prospect Park and Atlanta's Piedmont Park in 2014, these two events were popular right out of the gate, bringing the mindful triathlon experience to more than 10,000 participants. After this positive response, Wanderlust 108 will expand to 15 cities this year, including 10 events in the U.S., three events in Canada, two in Australia, and additional events in Mexico. The majority of these dates were just announced.
Composed of a 5k run, 90-minute yoga class, and 15-minute guided meditation, the events are produced by the people behind the well-known and respected Wanderlust yoga and music festivals. And the 108 is probably the only tri on the planet where lying down in the middle of the event is not only encouraged, but mandatory. (Just don’t call this move “bonking.” This lie-down-on-your-back move is called “savasana,” which is Sanskrit for “corpse pose.”)
And the final ohm at the end of the meditation doesn't mark the conclusion of the event, but the start of the party. Each 108 features live bands and DJs as well as activities like hooping, slacklining, and acro-yoga. Not familiar with these? You’re in for a treat: Hooping is short for hula hooping, and although similar to the activity you enjoyed as a kid, it's more sophisticated. Experienced hoopers execute a bunch of different tricks, and beginning hoopers often find that the practice benefits other athletic activities, like surfing, snowboarding, and skiing. Slacklining is similar to walking on tightrope, and many athletes, especially climbers, use it as cross-training. Acroyoga combines yoga and acrobatics and is practiced by duos. Watching it is pretty awesome and Cirque de Soleil adjacent.
Although each event features a different lineup of musical talent, MC Yogi, a yoga-loving hip-hop artist with songs like "Breath Control," "Be the Change," and "Ganesh Is Fresh," will play at all dates in the U.S. Other highlights include the punk Buddhist Noah Levine leading the guided meditation at the L.A. event, and the High and Mighty Brass Band at the Brooklyn 108.
Each 108 will also have its own Kula Marketplace, which is like an offline Etsy, featuring cool wares from local craft vendors including unique apparel, jewelry, and handcrafted items. Hungry? There will also be a mix of food trucks and snacks by local food purveyors selling an eclectic mix of healthy organic food options, including vegan and vegetarian fare.
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