‘Ultimate World Triathlon’ Aims To Spark Conversation About Gender Equality

Mar 22, 2019, 10:56 AM | Updated: 10:57 am

PARK CITY, Utah – A Park City couple are about to embark on an adventure to raise awareness for a cause close to their hearts.

Rob Lea and Caroline Gleich are preparing to climb Mount Everest. It will be the first leg of a unique triathlon Lea hopes to complete over the summer. After the Mount Everest climb, he plans to swim across the English Channel and bike across the United States. He calls it the Ultimate World Triathlon and he hopes to use his platform to start a conversation about gender equality.

“The longer I’ve been with her, I’ve realized how much implicit bias is out there that I just had no idea about,” Lea said. “She’s an amazing athlete and an amazing skier and when I first got into backcountry skiing, we would go out and people always assumed that I was her guide and I was taking her out into the mountains, but in actuality, for the most part, it was her taking me out,”

The pair recently completed a summit of Cho Oyu, the sixth-highest mountain in the world. Gleich proposed to Lea at the summit. They will be married in between Lea’s swimming and biking legs of his challenge. He hopes people rally around the challenge to change culture.

“There was a recent study that just came out that showed Utah is the 50th state in the nation as far as gender equality goes, so this is an issue that’s pretty close to home,” he said.

Lea hopes people will rally around the triathlon. He has created an online fundraiser (https://www.gofundme.com/ultimate-world-triathlon) where supporters can pitch in. While he says financial help would be nice, he ultimately just wants people to get behind his cause.

“What I’m really looking for people on the GoFundMe page is to first, support women. If you can, use that hashtag #ClimbForEquality, so we can kind of make a movement out of this and really have the conversations together,” Lea said.

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‘Ultimate World Triathlon’ Aims To Spark Conversation About Gender Equality