Home > News

He did a triathlon with an 80-pound tree on his back

Brandon Rynka became the first Canadian to complete a treeathlon - called "Canada's Strongest Triathlon"

On July 7th, Brandon Rynka swam 1.6K, biked 40K and ran 10K all with an 80-pound tree on his back. The motivational speaker, writer and adventure athlete completed the treeathlon –  “Canada’s Strongest Triathlon” –  in Burlington, Ontario (Gulliver’s Lake). It took Rynka four hours and 35 minutes to complete the Olympic distance triathlon.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you @davislenover 🎥 for capturing this event and making this amazing piece of art work. . . I am pumped about this video and to share it, as it not only captures one amazing event, day and moment so incredibly well mind you, but the video does a great job of capturing the process leading up to this moment in time. Everything that went into this event and day being a success is signified in this 2 minute video: the people, the hard work, the charity, the support, and the main reason I do it, to bring a community together. Ultimately I do these things to create a greater sense of meaning, make a positive impact to those around me and help causes I’m passionate about seeing improve. This makes it all worth it. . . Thank you to all that came out and helped me along this journey. Your support means more than you could know. A value I hold at high regard. Yes this is a solo event but this was by no means a solo venture. I had help from an amazing community, amazing charity, amazing friends, the best family and some amazing partnerships, sponsors and practitioners. . . Double tap and share ——————————————— #motivation #successmindset #inspiration #competition #wellness #fit #success #podcast #love #goals #fitness #entrepreneur #mentality #entrepreneurial #business #growthmindset #health #fulfillment #blog #writer #blogger #healthyliving #healthtip #environment #nature #earth #podcasts #triathlon #endurancesports

A post shared by Brandon Rynka (@brandonrynka365) on

What was the name of the tree? “Groot” – was the name given of the seven-foot 80-pound tree trunk that was tied to Rynka’s waist for the swim, and then strategically secured to an army backpack for the bike and run.

Why? According to blogTO, the challenge all started when he heard about Ross Edgley who completed a treeathlon in the UK to raise awareness for the environment. He then also swam 3,200K around the British Isles. Needless to say, Rynka was inspired to do the same. “I thought, why not me? Why not be the first person in Canada to take this on?”

Ross Edgley swims the last miles of the Great British Swim in Margate, UK, on November 4, 2018. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

So, for Rynka’s treeathlon challenge he decided to raise money for Burlington Green. Established in 2007, Burlington Green is a citizen-led, independent, registered charity. They work to raise awareness, advocacy and action initiatives to protect the environment, mitigate climate change and to create a  healthier, more environmentally responsible Burlington. Rynka told blogTO that he managed to raise around $1,000 for the charity.

In conjunction with Rynka’s work as a motivational speaker, the adventure athlete hopes to complete many more challenges in the coming years. In 2018, he completed three ultramarathons and Ironman 70.3 Muskoka. In 2020, he has aspirations to swim across one of the Great Lakes with the tree (Groot) to raise awareness for the environmental changes afflicting the world.