History was made on Tuesday when Lindon’s “Iron Cowboy” James Lawrence achieved his quest to complete 100 triathlons in 100 consecutive days.
Beginning March 1, Lawrence swam 2.4 miles, cycled 112 miles and ran a full marathon – 26.2 miles around Utah County — every day, finishing his last on Tuesday.
Beginning on Day 51 of the “Conquer 100” feat, Lawrence broke world records each day for the most consecutive full-distance triathlons. But, that was not the only reason behind spending 100 days swimming, cycling and running. The main purpose was to raise money for an important cause, Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit organization that assists in rescuing victims of human trafficking, especially focusing on children.
Lawrence started out with a goal to raise $100,000 throughout the 100 days, through donations. But, that amount was surpassed. Although the exact total has not yet been determined, over $200,000 has already been raised.
Conquer 100 was not a one-man feat. Wife Sunny Lawrence, their five children and wingmen Aaron Hopkinson and Casey Robles were with him every day. Many others came along to be part of the triathlons daily, many completing their own triathlons along with the Iron Cowboy.
During the months of triathlons, Lawrence wanted to give up at times, but never really considered it.
“I am a man of my word. I don’t set a goal until I’ve set my mind to accomplish it,” he said.
Along the way, whether he meant to or not, hundreds of others were inspired by his daily hours-long mental and physical endurance. Social media posts were accompanied by comments such as, “I thought of you when I didn’t want to hit the beach and swim today,” and “Iron Cowboy 101 sounds like a college course!! How to teach people to be awesome, master self-discipline while looking great doing it! Always a smile!” and “Told my mom all about you and she joined a gym at 78 and met with a trainer; she was so inspired.”
Inconsistent weather, including rain, snow, wind and extreme heat were companions to Lawrence during the 100 days. Other challenges included shin and hip problems, cramping, loneliness, isolation, dehydration, thrush, overstimulation by the many people and a fear of missing out. But it was all worth it in the end.
“We are over the moon to have accomplished this goal,” Lawrence said. “We have sacrificed tremendously as a family, and we can’t wait to celebrate together.”
After completing the 100 triathlons in 100 days, Lawrence should have been ready for some relaxation. Instead, he got up Wednesday morning and started a 101st triathlon. Lawrence said he did it to show that sometimes when you have nothing left, you can always muster up enough energy to do more.
“In life, we do not always know when the hard things are going to end, but we can keep going and keep succeeding,” he said.