Who is the Iron Cowboy?
James Lawrence has been doing triathlons for seven years. At the age of 28, James participated in a four mile “fun” run that he struggled to finish. After this his wife, Sunny, signed them both up for a marathon and told James; “figure it out”. So, they found a training schedule on the internet and started working! During this time a friend of James’, a personal trainer and triathlete, challenged James to participate in a sprint triathlon–the shortest official tri distance. Never one to turn down a challenge; James began serious training. After completing his first sprint distance in 2005 and his marathon, feeling satisfied with his performance, James decided to see how well he could do racing at longer distances and with more precise training and nutrition. Catching the triathlon bug, he has since competed in countless triathlons of different distances throughout the world and has found a passion that he just can’t get enough of.
James wanted to be a professional golfer in his early 20′s. Its a game he loves and he wanted to do something unique with athletics; but thought golf may not be the sport in which to do it. In 2009, James recognized his talent in the sport of triathlon and decided he needed a creative way to take it to the next level. He put together a plan to immerse himself in the sport and give himself an opportunity to help the people of Africa; through the charity In Our Own Quiet Way.
In 2010, James set a world record completing 22 half-iron distance races in just 30 weeks! This race consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1 mile run. Some of these races back to back; one Saturday and then Sunday. This took some serious dedication and was an adventure that will be with him the rest of his life!! He didn’t just complete them, but he averaged 5 hours for each race. He is now officially part of the Guinness Book of World Records! 2010 wet his pallet for 2012, where he will go for 30 full Ironman distance races!! This is the most grueling of the triathlon distances, consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26.2 mile run at the end—cause 114 miles wasn’t long enough! These races will span 10 countries, 3 continents, enduring travel, strange foods, different climates and time away from his precious family.
Why the Iron Cowboy? While racing an Ironman event in his native country of Canada, he wore a cowboy hat during the run and it got a lot of attention! Someone called him “the Cowboy” during the race and the name stuck!! He is now known for wearing his signature cowboy hat during the run portions of his races…..although it tends to change color from race to race. Hmm?
Aside from swimming, cycling and running for hours and hours…..and hours everyday; James lives a full family life. He and his wife of 11 years, Sunny Jo, have five toe-headed children with just 6 years between the oldest and youngest. There are four daughters, ( the oldest daughter already catching the vision and wants to compete in the Kona triathlon….they even put their bikes on James’s trainer) and one insanely active little boy who’s hero is his Daddy. James and Sunny look forward to training and racing together, but for now their schedules are opposite so one or the other is home with the kids. This consists of very early mornings and mid-afternoon workouts. James’ girls are his biggest fans. They look forward to seeing medals, making welcome home signs and hanging balloons for his return.
He hopes through 2012 to raise funds and awareness for the Quiet Way charity, bringing clean water to the peoples of Africa; and to use his love of triathlon to inspire and get people to fulfill their own individual dreams. To show the world what is possible!! Follow this EPIC journey and live the ADVENTURE with the Iron Cowboy through his blogs triandgiveadam.blogspot.com ….. don’t forget his wife’s side of the story. Follow her journey at tritheotherside.wordpress.com