Cross-country alumna Elizabeth Gruber looks to finish well at Xterra World Championship on Oct. 27
Elizabeth Gruber is a triathlete, but not in the typical sense.
She participates in the XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon Series, where participants run on trails and race mountain bikes instead of road bikes. She said it’s where, “pros and amateurs race for the title of regional, national and world champion and get dirty and dig deep while doing it.”
Gruber graduated from Oregon State in 2012 with a BS in exercise and sports science. During that time, she participated in a variety of activities that prepared her for the triathlon series.
She ran for the OSU cross-country and track team during her first two years on campus, and the OSU triathlon team after that.
She currently lives in Loma Linda, Calif., where she is studying nursing at La Sierra University.
Despite the time constraints that come with nursing school, Gruber still had time to compete in six triathlons and five mountain bike races this year. She has had a handful of top-five finishes and finished first for amateurs at the Xterra Off-Road Triathlon National Title in Ogden, Utah. The race consisted of a 1.5k swim, 28k mountain bike and a 10k train run.
Gruber races for the elite triathlon team Wattie Ink, which is made up of 115 triathletes from across the United States.
“If you go to any big triathlon in the U.S., you are sure to see the “W’s” on the course and on the podium,” she said.
Gruber’s next challenge is the Xterra World Championship in Maui, Hawaii, on Oct. 27. She placed first in her age group last year and hopes to build off of her recent success and come out with another victory.
Scott McReynolds, sports reporter
On Twitter @scottmcreynold4