“The 50 wasn’t close enough to know my limits,” Lawrence tells CNN Sport. “That is why I am doing the ‘Conquer 100.'”
Lawrence, recognized to many as the “Iron Cowboy” is doing these 1000’s of miles close to his residence in Lindon City, Utah. He began on March 1 and hopes to finish the feat on June 8.
“People always say chase your dreams, but when you’re chasing something, you never catch it,” says Lawrence’s spouse Sunny, explaining the reasoning behind the title “Conquer 100.”
“With this, I was like, it’s got to be something powerful, you own it, you are the master and you’re conquering it.”
Pushing the limits
By finishing the ‘Conquer 100,’ Lawrence desires to set a brand new benchmark of human efficiency and endurance.
He’s additionally fundraising, saying all proceeds generated from his problem are being donated to Operation Underground Railroad, a not-for-profit group utilizing former CIA and Navy Seal operatives to eradicate little one intercourse trafficking.
“I do what I do to raise money for charity and to challenge myself to see what the limits are for my mind and body,” says Lawrence, who celebrated his forty fifth birthday alongside a thirty eighth successive day by day triathlon on April 7.
“My first endurance challenge was a four-mile fun run on Thanksgiving Day,” he remembers. “At least it felt like an endurance event when I did it in 2004.”
“James was a gym rat,” says Sunny. “He’d just go to the gym and lift weights. I had run for fitness and said, you know, let’s do this race.
“It was troublesome for him and I used to be like, you’ve got to be kidding me. How can that be arduous for you?
“I had always wanted to run a marathon and signed us up, but I would have never known that that four-mile fun run would have turned into this entire career.”
After their marathon collectively James Lawrence found triathlon.
“It was one small step at a time,” he explains. “Over a decade I took it up a notch, stayed consistent, and climbed the ladder to extreme endurance.
“I’ve all the time loved particular person sports activities having grown up a wrestler, after which taking over golf. Triathlon was a pure transition for me so far as difficult the thoughts and the physique.”
Lawrence is reported to have accomplished the most half-distance triathlons in a 12 months, 2011, earlier than transferring on to interrupt information in the full-distance self-discipline in 2012.
The “50.50.50” — 50 full-distance triathlons in 50 days across 50 states — took the idea of endurance competition to another level.
“It undoubtedly was a logistical nightmare,’ remembers Lawrence. “An experience we will forever remember.”
Traveling all through the US in 2015 — as the Amazon documentary “Iron Cowboy: The Story of the 50.50.50 Triathlon” particulars — gear went lacking, sneakers bought misplaced, and the Lawrence household, together with all 5 kids, lived and slept in a rented RV.
“That naivety,” says Sunny. “Not knowing how hard it was going to be, was probably the greatest gift we’ve ever been given. We might’ve chickened out, but we were like, oh, no, we totally got this.
“When you are in it and it is depressing, you are like, properly, we bought to see it by.”
Family is important to Lawrence and his eldest daughter Lucy — now full-time student and business manager — would meet her father to run the final 5km each day.
“Nothing nice is ever achieved on our personal,” Lawrence says. “And I’ve been so blessed to undergo this journey with my household. They are every part.”
Logistics were not the only difficulties Lawrence faced. On day six of the 50, he tore a shoulder muscle and had to swim the next 44 days with one arm, while another day — due to sleep deprivation — he fell asleep while cycling, tumbling onto the road.
By day eight he was suffering from such severe dehydration that he passed out, and was subsequently administered with an intravenous drip (IV) of saline solution to recover.
The injuries and a tropical storm forced the “Iron Cowboy” and team to arrange indoor facilities in a number of states to enable him to complete the required daily distances on static equipment such as a cross trainer, an elliptical machine that replicates the motion of running without the impact.
That meant Guinness would not ratify the 50.50.50 for the world record; Lawrence’s use of an IV also led to hostility and accusations of cheating on social media.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment, but according to the Amazon documentary, IV use within two weeks of a triathlon event was regarded as doping, and subsequently WADA changed their rules to appreciate extreme endurance challenges such as the “50.50.50.”
However, Lawrence has admitted using an elliptical machine did reduce the credibility of his achievement.
Further controversy ensued when Lawrence didn’t provide a direct link for people to donate money to the charity he supported throughout the challenge — the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, which aimed to alleviate childhood obesity — and he was accused of charity fraud.
The now defunct foundation denied this was the case, eventually making a link available, and Lawrence tells CNN that the eventual fundraising figure reached $80,000.
Recovery back home
After what he’d put his body through, Lawrence knew when he committed to the “Conquer 100” in the fall of 2020, his preparation had to change.
With health testing at UCLA, and medical data being monitored daily through Biostrap, his team acknowledged that he needed to use “each choice he can to get better,” including body massages every night, magnetic pads, red light therapy, a hyperbaric chamber, and rapid reboot compression boots.
Lawrence is also sleeping far more — an average of seven hours a night. His diet includes fruit, sandwiches, Hi-Chews, Swedish fish, salads, green smoothies with protein powders, and “as many potatoes as I can” he says.
His weight — for someone completing such a huge amount of intense exercise — has stayed remarkably consistent according to his team.
Your own version of hard
Lawrence knew it was impossible to train a human body for 100 full distance triathlons, and says he used a gradual process of low impact, “heavy” bike, “low run quantity” and consistent swim and weight training so that the first 10 triathlons would prime him for the next 10 and so on.
He explains that he wanted to feel fresh at the start as “10% undertrained is healthier than 1% overtrained.”
The plan worked and just like during the “50.50.50,” Lawrence says he felt his body “break” after three weeks, and then bounce back.
“It was unbelievable to see my physique change and act as if it had a thoughts of its personal,” says Lawrence.
Being near residence in Utah, home familiarity and native assist has helped banish reminiscences of the poisonous response he suffered on-line over the “50.50.50.”
Sunny emphasizes, the threat has been “non-existent.”
“Not one particular person. I do not know if it is as a result of folks know he can do it, or as a result of of the trigger,” she says. “This time round nothing, it is such a good looking factor.”
“The group loves it,” admits Lawrence. “Particularly our hometown, Lindon City. They have bent over backwards for us.
“Everyone is engaged and supportive, it has been an incredible experience.”
“I love to empower people to do their own version of hard,” he says. “It is kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Lawrence says he met his fundraising goal of $100,000 by day 38, and now previous the midway mark in his ‘Conquer 100’ try, the Iron Cowboy is once more in report breaking territory.
“I mentally feel great,” he confirms. “I’m stronger than I was for the 50 … there is a lot of work to be done, and I am respecting the journey.”