the challenge: 50/50/50

50 full Ironman distance races, in 50 states, in 50 days. That’s what James Lawrence, aka The Iron Cowboy, is attempting to do starting June 6th, 2015 in Hawaii and ending July 25th, 2015 in his hometown of Provo, Utah. 50/50/50 is a much larger challenge then ever done before and the Iron Cowboy knows he has doubters. People say it can’t be done,” he said. “That’s just added motivation.”

Lawrence, a 39 year-old father of 5, is not a stranger to setting and reaching high goals. In 2010 he set the world record for most 70.3 mile triathlons in a year, completing 22 in 30 weeks. Then in 2012 he set out to break the world record for the most 140.6 mile distance triathlons, and he did by completing 30 in that year

what motivates the Iron Cowboy

James is a family man who’s always out to be a positive role model for his children and to prove to them that anything is possible. His children will be part of the 4-vehicle fleet that will be traveling with James across the country as he attempts the impossible.

When James set the world records in 2010 and 2012 he felt like he had left something on the table. “I didn’t push myself enough either physically or mentally,” said James. “I want to find my limits.”

the training

James plans on finishing each race between 12-14 hours and to keep that pace for 140.6 miles over 50 days James needs to be ready.Aside form the obvious years of triathlon experience and training James has undergone, he has a secret weapon on his side: cross-training. James understands that his body is about to go through a tremendous beating and he feels that his additional strength training he has been doing over the past year will help him in developing and strengthening his stabilizing muscle groups. The assist of these groups will allow him to fatigue slower and prevent injury. “Cross-training is greatly underused in endurance sport,” says James. “Athletes need to be strong to perform their best.”

50 days of company

The Iron Cowboy may be setting out to prove that the impossible is possible, but he isn’t doing this alone. In an attempt to raise awareness of childhood obesity, James is welcoming anyone that wants to join him at each individual leg of the journey. “I’m expecting up to 100 cyclists and 300 runners in each state to be joining me,” says James who is only asking they make a small donation to fight childhood obesity.

Iron Cowboy Update.

I wanted to find my physical and mental limits.

James Lawrence, the Iron Cowboy, has completed a task very few thought possible. With his 5 kids and wife along to watch the epic feat, James swam 120 miles, cycled 5600 miles and ran 1300 miles over 50 days in 50 states. Starting on June 6th in Hawaii, James began his journey to complete 50 Ironman distance triathlons, in 50 states, in 50 days. His 50-50-50 challenge began that day with a goal to raise awareness for childhood obesity and to set a positive example for his children and for people around the nation. By July 25th James had travelled the country, fought the weather, logistics, and his bodies attempts to shut down before eventually finishing his challenge while raising $68,000 for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. Now James is on a mission to raise $1 million dollars to help the foundation that brings food education to schools and youth groups, businesses and communities. 

pushing through the limits

The Iron Cowboy had some very close calls that nearly took him out of his own competition. The challenge began with an intense first 3 days of racing when he travelled from Hawaii to Alaska and then to Washington. He completed those first 3 triathlons with only seven total hours of sleep. That would eventually lead to an average of 4-5 hours of sleep per night. The fatigue finally caught up to James in Tennessee when he fell asleep on the bike portion of his race. “Pavement is a good alarm clock,” he later joked. His body would eventually adjust as he would continue to get stronger through each course and would have his fastest race on day 50, the last of his races in the 50-50-50 challenge. “We found my physical limits and more my mental limits,” said James. “What I’m most proud of is that we as a crew, myself personally, pushed through those. The odds were stacked against us, and we persevered and pushed through the whole way to the finish line.” Learn more about the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation  Visit his to see the full story and read more about James.