The University of Iowa

UI grad sets out on 11-month ‘world triathlon’

March 30th, 2010

By Lynn Hicks

Charlie Wittmack knew, at age 15, that the trip he dreamed up sounded ridiculous.

Swim the English Channel. Jump on a bike and ride from France to Nepal. Then climb Mount Everest.

So he kept the dream – what he now calls the World Triathlon – to himself. But he started taking small steps toward his goal, despite false starts and failures. That, he would learn over the next 18 years, is how you reach great heights in the adventure called life.

“If I show people – if a scrawny, 145-pound, 5-foot-8 guy from Iowa can just go and try – then it might encourage other people who think the odds are against them to go ahead and try, too,” he said.

His 12-nation, nearly 12,000-mile journey is set to start in July and last 11 months, if all goes as planned. At a press conference today, he will unveil more details of the trip.

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