Moranic no picnic, unless you’re Heemstra

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – It’s hardly a picnic but that’s what it’s called. And you might have to be a little “Moranic” to even attempt this grueling event.

The Moranic Picnic is probably the gnarliest natural triathlon ever conceived. The annual challenge is for extreme athletes only. Few ever finish it.

Last Friday, Julia Heemstra, 42, just bettered her own best time for the Moranic by nearly three hours. In fact, Heemstra’s 13 hours, 33 minutes is the fastest time posted by any athlete—man or woman.

The Moranic is the brainchild of Jackson Hole photographer/writer David Gonzales, conceived as a way to push the limits of human powered adventure.

Julia Heemstra ready to get started on the town square at 4:05am.

The challenge begins with a 25-mile bike ride from the Jackson Hole town square to Teton National Park. From there it’s  1.6 miles of hiking/climbing and  2.1 miles of swimming (each way) across Leigh Lake.


After the swim, competitors scramble up Mt. Moran’s sketchy boulder-ridden climber’s trail with some moderately technical climbing near the summit. After climbing the 6,368 feet of elevation gain to the top, it’s turn around and do the whole thing in reverse, eventually ending up back at the town square.

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