He Did 50 Ironman Competitions In 50 Days Over 50 States — Meet The Iron Cowboy

Now this is a Herculean feat!

He Did 50 Ironman Competitions In 50 Days Over 50 States — Meet The Iron CowboyIron Cowboy Instagram

Completing one Ironman competition is gutsy enough, but to complete 50 Ironman competitions in 50 days over 50 states is a feat in and of itself. Yet, that's exactly what this amazing athlete has done, and documented it all for a Netflix film. Who is James Lawrence, AKA Iron Cowboy?

Let's look at what we know about this incredible athlete. 


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1. But first, what is an Ironman Competition? 

According to the official Ironman website, an Ironman Competition is actually a series of competitions that take place over the course of a day. Officially organized by the World Triathalon Corporation, an Ironman Competition involves a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon. The sports are done in that order, and without a break between the three sports. A report by Ryan Hudson of SB Nation called the Ironman Competition "the most difficult one-day sporting event in the world."


Iron Cowboy is currently streaming on Netflix.

2. Who is James Lawrence? 

According to the official Iron Cowboy website, James Lawrence is a "world record-breaking" athlete who lives with his wife and five children in Utah. He considers himself a family man, and he can also be booked for motivational speaking appearances. He also wrote a book, Iron Cowboy: Redefine Impossible, which talks about his experience doing the so-called "50-50-50 challenge." 


James Lawrence is an athlete and a motivational speaker.

3. He's a native of Canada. 

According to Triathlon Inspires, James Lawrence is a native of Alberta, British Colombia, Canada. He moved to the United States when he was 23, and said that this move is what triggered his journey to doing the Ironman Competitions. 


"The adventure began on June 6, 2015 in Hawaii. He trained knowing that he and his family would be moving from state to state and race to race in an RV, with little time to pick up or prepare meals along the way so he had to be sure his body was prepared to get through each race on “regular” food. He invited people in every state to join him on the last leg of the marathon, and most dinners and bike sandwiches were supplied by coordinators in each city. Lawrence didn’t have the luxury of relying on a highly specialized diet when so much of what he ate was out of his hands. Including wife, Sunny, and five children, accompanied him on his cross-country journey," reported the outlet.

James Lawrence is a native of Canada.


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4. James Lawrence has created his own electrolyte powder called SpeedSauce. 

According to an official press release announcing the partnership, James Lawrence has partnered with Dr. Sourabh Kharait, a nephrologist, to develop what he calls "SpeedSauce." 

"James partnered up with Award-winning Nephrologist and CEO of Gray Mountain Sports Drinks, Dr. Sourabh Kharait to see how proper electrolyte supplementation could help reduce instances of these painful physical effects. With Gray Mountain Sports Drinks having recently received a patent for its novel electrolyte sports drink MagNaK®, Dr. Kharait was enthusiastic about investigating how MagNaK® could be adapted to solve the vexing problems experienced by high-endurance athletes like James," reported the press release.

James Lawrence is an entrepreneur, too. 


5. His diet is pretty, well, "normal." 

In a profile for GQ Magazine, James Lawrence said that he doesn't have any type of "special" diet that he follows when he's not training for competitions — though he eats a balanced and healthy diet that includes meats, starches, and vegetables — but he ate up to 6,000 calories a day when he was training for the Ironman Competitions. What's more, he said that his drastic calorie increase didn't come from anything special — rather, he just ate when he was hungry. 

"Sometimes I had sushi, because it’s what was available. I had a porterhouse steak one time, a beet burger another time with mozzarella and mushrooms on it. My body became such an efficient burning machine that I could eat anything," he said to the outlet.

James Lawrence has a pretty normal diet.


6. There's an aspiring "Iron Cowgirl," too. 

In a recent profile for The New York Post, Ashley Horne said that she, too, was looking to do 50 Ironman competitions in 50 days. And, she said, she's doing it all for charity.

"Horner will begin her first race Sunday at 9 p.m. Then she’ll fly to Florida to do it all over again. Each day, she’ll be driven in a Sprinter van to the next starting line, catching whatever sleep she can on the drives. She anticipates each race will take 12 to 16 hours, which won’t leave her a lot of time to sleep. The exhaustion will be one of the hardest challenges to overcome," she said, according to the outlet.


Sounds like a good plan to us!

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.