Wanderlust 108 a ‘mindful triathlon’ helping Calgarians find their true north

To most, the concept of a triathlon is daunting at best, but what if the goal wasn’t extreme endurance, but mindfulness, fitness, and well-being – all at your own pace?

That’s the idea behind Wanderlust 108, the world’s only “mindful triathlon,” an event comprised of three parts: a five-kilometre fun run/walk, a 75-minute yoga set with a DJ-curated playlist, and 25 minutes of guided meditation.

What began as a four-day global retreat is now held in cities around the world, including Calgary, with the one-day event returning this Saturday, Aug. 11 to Fort Calgary.

“Find your true north,” is the mission of Wanderlust 108, says CEO and co-founder Sean Hoess, a fitting motto for the Canadian leg of the festival. “We wanted to bring some of festival magic to big cities in beautiful public parks.”

Hoess says the idea behind the triathlon is to promote practice – particularly in yoga, mindfulness and meditation. “We believe these things are inherently good and inherently helpful to really anybody.”

In that regard, Wanderlust 108 isn’t meant only for chiseled yogis and ultra-marathoners. Anyone, at any stage of fitness can readily and easily participate – and even learn a thing or two about nutrition and community engagement, as well as spiritual, mental and physical fitness.

These values are incorporated into the “108” of Wanderlust 108 – a sacred number in mediation representing not only the 108 mala beads used in prayer, but the individual, nothingness and the infinite – all aspects of mindful meditation.

If all this still seems as overwhelming as a traditional triathlon, Hoess says the grounds are open to anyone who might be curious about getting started.

“One of our goals was never to close a public park. We don’t take the park away from anyone else.”

Vendors will be set up throughout Fort Calgary so participants and spectators can learn more about yoga practice, fitness, healthy eating and more. DJs will be on site, and demonstrations of acro-yoga, aerial yoga and hooping will be occurring throughout the day.

Adidas, the official Wanderlust 108 sponsor, will have a pop-up Adidas x Wanderlust store onsite, and the True North Café will offer coffee and healthy eats.

Participants can sign up for all three events or just the yoga and meditation sessions online. Tickets will also be available at Fort Calgary the day of.

$1.08 from every ticket sold will go towards (RED) – a global organization that works to make medication for AIDS and HIV available and affordable in developing countries.

Sign-in begins at 7:30 a.m., and the fun run kicks off at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

“It’s not a race, it’s not about judgement,” says Hoess. “It’s about community rather than competition.”

(Photo courtesy Jamie Hyatt for Wanderlust Festival.)

Wanderlust 108 takes place Saturday, Aug. 11 to Fort Calgary. For more information, or to sign-up, visit:

Described by some as a “cute dictionary” and a “punk rock Tina Fey,” Autumn Fox is a freelance writer and editor living in Calgary. She loves puns, irony and Vi-Co. Find her on Twitter @AudieCantFail.