Health & Fitness

A triathlon measured by community, not competition

Wanderlust 108 is a “mindful triathlon” that consists of a leisurely 5K, guided yoga, and meditation. The event was held at Virginia Key Beach Park recently.
Wanderlust 108 is a “mindful triathlon” that consists of a leisurely 5K, guided yoga, and meditation. The event was held at Virginia Key Beach Park recently. Special to the Miami Herald

Most triathletes swim, cycle and run as fast as their hearts and minds allow.

But at Wanderlust 108, a “mindful triathlon” held Saturday at Virginia Key Beach Park, more than 1,000 people ran or walked a leisurely 5K, followed by guided yoga and meditation.

A competition it was not.

“It’s really just finding your true north and getting to know yourself and to find what inspires you. And it brings the community together,” said Caitlin Swertfager, of Virginia, who attended Saturday’s event. “The vibe is just awesome.”

During the morning 5K, some talked and walked, some jogged, while others ran. Some skipped it and dove right into the yoga, held in an open field adjacent to the ocean. A 30-minute dance party — with a DJ playing Zen tunes — was sandwiched between the 5K and the yoga.

This is the first year Wanderlust has come to the southeastern United States. Miami was the 10th stop on a 15-city fall tour. Next stops include Nashville and Houston.

“We place community above competition, inner peace above power, and self-awareness above strength,” reads the message on Wanderlust’s website. “We prefer slow food to fast run times. For us, winning is measured in laughs shared and new friends made.”

On stage, a yoga instructor asked participants to support the person next to them as he or she lifted one foot off the ground, balanced and braced their arms with the shoulders of their neighbor, forming a human chain in the grassy field.

Wanderlust started in 2009 in Squaw Valley, California, by music enthusiast Jeff Krasno, Schuyler Grant, a yogi and Jeff’s wife, and Sean Hoess, a musician. While in the jungle in Costa Rica, during one of Schuyler’s yoga retreats, the trio had a vision to host the world’s largest yoga retreat, infused with music, food, meditation and other nature-inspired exercises.

“It’s about looking at life holistically so you can really become the highest form of yourself,” said Kelly Casey, one of the managers, about the festival.

The festival featured acroyoga, which brings together acrobatics, yoga and dance; aerial yoga, which incorporates a low-hanging soft fabric to do poses in the air; and slacklining, where people walk across or balance on a one-inch wide, suspended elastic line.

“It’s really great because we have this community of yogis, acroyogis and slack riders, and we’re just able to come and play together in a positive environment with influential DJs and yoga teachers,” said Megan Johnson at Saturday’s event.

She, with her husband and business partner, started Slacroduo, which holds acroyoga, aerial yoga and slacklining workshops in and around Miami. “We pretty much do yoga in mid-air, balancing. It’s all about challenging yourself and taking your mat practice up in the air.”

For more information about Wanderlust’s upcoming festivals, visit: