A Wilde Triathlon at Utah Lake
Erika Wilde is a local triathlete who uses Utah Lake and the surrounding area as her home base for training. Her name may sound familiar to you, because we have featured her before on our blog! This post is the final chapter in what Wilde calls her “Utah Lake Triathlon”.
“I grew up in Orem. I could see the lake from my house growing up. It kind of felt like, ‘That’s my lake. I want to make it across.” – Erika Wilde
In the fall of 2012 and the winter of 2013, Erika Wilde joined the few who have swum and run east to west across Utah Lake. No one’s been crazy enough to cross north to south yet, which is approx. 25 miles. Anyone up for a challenge? She, and her group of friends attempted to swim across in October of 2011, but were unsuccessful due to extremely cold water temperatures, no sun, and cold air temperatures. It was so cold, she began to get drowsy while she was swimming. Its never good to show signs of hypothermia while swimming in the middle of a large lake! September of 2012 turned out to be much better for their attempt to cross the lake. The weather was a stark contrast to the previous attempt. About 5 miles across, from Orem Center St. to Pelican Point, they all made it across in about 3 hours time.
“It was the longest swim I’ve ever done in my life!” – Erika Wilde
In January of 2013, the lake froze over, and for several weeks, temperatures didn’t go above 25 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s the thought that pops into Erika’s head? No, it wasn’t “It is so cold out!” Instead, she thought, “Oh my gosh! We should run across the lake!” She called up her same group from the swim across the lake, and then reached out to the Utah Lake Commission for guidance on how to run across the lake safely and legally. It was so cold, the water in her Camelbak froze. She ran from Utah Lake State Park straight across to Pelican Point and back, a total of around 11 miles, and took around 90 minutes to complete.
Since completing the run across the lake in 2013, Erika has been watching and waiting for the right opportunity to complete her personal Utah Lake Triathlon by biking across the frozen lake. February 1, 2017, Erika finally realized her goal of biking across frozen Utah Lake. It was planned on very short notice, due to Erika hearing of an acquaintance running across the lake a few days previously. It was the perfect day, because it was during one of the cold periods we had this winter, but if she had waited until the weekend, the lake would have been thawing again already. Below is a photo of one of the cracks in the ice out in the middle of the lake.
Erika plans to continue to use Utah Lake as a recreational resource in her triathlon training. A resident of Springville, she uses the Provo River trail that connects to Utah Lake, bikes out near West Mountain (one of the more remote, lesser known areas of the lake), she swims at Lincoln Beach, and even takes her dogs to walk regularly at Sandy Beach.
If you want to get in contact with Erika, to talk about Utah Lake, her Utah Lake Triathlon, etc. check her out on Instagram at: @erikatwilde
If you want to read more about other awesome stories of athletic accomplishments at Utah Lake, we have written about another woman who ran across Utah Lake at 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and a man who also ran across the lake, but even filmed his run with a GoPro.