Meet the “Iron Cowboy”: 101 Triathlons in 101 Days

July 16, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Matt Norton (instagram.com/__matthewnorton)
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Finding someone who has done an Ironman distance triathlon (2.4 mile/3.9km swim, 112 mile/180.2km bike, 26.2 mile/42km run) is rare. So rare, that only about one in 1,000 people in the US have completed one. But James Lawrence is that .1%.

  • Since March, Lawrence has completed 101 triathlons.
  • That’s over 14,060 miles of triathlon racing.
  • Over 2,620 miles of running, 240 miles of swimming, and 11,200 miles of biking across a fourteen-week period.

How to train for 14,000 miles: On social media, people know Lawrence as “Iron Cowboy.” If you take a look at his accomplishments, the name seems pretty fitting.

  • From March 1st-June 9th, Lawrence swam from 5:30 in the morning until 7:30 at night.
  • But other than that, there really wasn’t much pre-planning.
  • In an interview with Triathlete.com Lawrence said, “there’s no such thing as training for 101 successive 140.6-mile long triathlons.”

It takes a team: Over the course of the 101 days, Lawrence wasn’t alone in the pool or on the trails. He had an entire team helping him through each event as well as several athletes who traveled in to spend the day racing with him.

  • Even the CrossFit community’s own Heber Cannon decided to jump in on a whim, giving himself just eight hours of prep time.
  • “I’m blown away by the accomplishment of 101 full-length triathlons in 101 days. I’m equally impressed by the community that came out to support,” said Cannon in an Instagram post.
  • “Literally nationwide, people rallied behind the endeavor. Locally, it was almost a madhouse of supporting people who were engaged in all different elements of the conquer 100 experience,” he concluded.

Reflections on the event: Completing just one Ironman distance triathlon is a feat in itself but completing 101 in 101 days is superhuman.

  • “I believe we reset history, made sports endurance history, and completely defied logic. A new bar has been set to what the mind, body and spirit can accomplish,” Lawrence said.
  • His 101st day was not what he originally set out to do. In fact, the final day of racing was something that Lawrence added on.
  • “I love the fact that after reaching 100 completions, I threw down one more on my terms,” he said in an interview with Triathlon.com.

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