Doing one Ironman distance triathlon is hard. Doing more than one in a year takes some serious commitment and dedication. 50? Now that’s crazy talk. That’s why the feat of James Lawrence, AKA the Iron Cowboy, seemed impossible at the outset. Having completed the insane challenge we now know it is possible, though it’s still as unbelievable as ever.

After completing 50 Ironman distance triathlons in 50 days with one in each state, the 50-50-50 challenge may be possible, but James’ record will probably stand untouched for quite some time – especially since he held the previous record of 30 Ironman official events in one year. Raising funds for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and the fight against childhood obesity, the challenge was for a good cause as well.

Check out part 1 of After the 505050 – an Interview with Fezzari Athlete James Lawrence, The Iron Cowboy next…

From Fezzari:

2 time world record holder and Fezzari athlete James Lawrence, the Iron Cowboy, completed his epic 505050 challenge on July 25, 2015 in Utah. He did 50 Ironman distance triathlons (2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run) in 50 consecutive days in 50 different states. Fezzari Bicycles is proud to sponsor him in this unbelievable attempt. Why did he do it? In his own words: “To find my own physical and mental capabilities and to do something so crazy that hopefully it would get the world’s attention on the epidemic of childhood obesity that is sweeping our nation.” James was supplied with 3 different Fezzari bicycles. The Fezzari T5 equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain, Mavic Wheels, Vision cockpit, and Garmin Vector pedals was his primary bike he rode 90% of the journey. He also had the latest Fezzari Foré CR5 road bike, and another 2015 Fezzari Foré CR5 road bike to use as backups. James said of the bikes, “I rode these bikes 7,000 miles and didn’t have one mechanical issue. I love Fezzari!”

You can learn more about James ‘The Iron Cowboy’ Lawrence’ at

Help James #fightthefight by visiting and donating at

Fezzari Bicycles is the U.S. leader in the direct-to-rider bicycle buisness. Fezzari prides itself on buildling competition quality, exceptionally fit road, triathlon, and mountain bikes at unbeatable values. Fezzari Bicycles: Custom, Quality, Direct. Learn more at

Video shot and edited by Chris Mabey Photography

Additional footage provided by Jaybird Sport



  1. Veganpotter on

    This guy did a LOT of downstream swims, drafting for the bike even a 26.2 mile ELLIPTICAL workout instead of a run. Obviously fit but he definitely didn’t do 50 ironmans

  2. Pillz on

    Not surprised, the body will fail without dropping back to active recovery via ELLIPTICAL or a rest day. The back-to-back factor is the impossible part. Ugh running!

  3. Veganpotter on

    Pillz…I disagree. Scott Jurek’s Appalachian trail effort/record was around 45 days…all running/hiking
    without a superstar team to aid recovery and no useful cheating like drafting or only running downhill

  4. carbonfodder on

    @veganpotter, as the holder of a Master’s degree in exercise physiology, I cringe when I read uninformed and unfortunately stupid comments like your “only running downhill”. If you don’t know what you are talking about, please keep your opinion to yourself. You don’t understand the effects of eccentric loading on the musculature, and if you did, you would praise his ability to “only run downhill” 26.2 miles even once.

  5. Veganpotter on

    corbonfodder…cute;) I know running dowhill is hard on your body…most people have run downhill before;) I was a track athlete in college. That said, he SWAM downstream quite a bit(some people that did it with him early on said that they basically floated the 2.4 miles), and drafted in pretty decent sized groups for the bike, RAN on treadmills(something way easier on your body than running on the road), used an elliptical for “a run”

  6. Devin on

    Jesus, way to miss the forest for the trees. Dude does something crazy hard to raise money for charity and you quibble about how he achieved his distance. Know how hard this would be if he did 100% of it in a pool, on a trainer and on a treadmill? Still incredibly crushing.

  7. ascar larkinyar on


    there is no 26 mile downhill run anywhere in the usa. even if there where, running downhill is punishment on the knee’s, not a rest day.

    if he drafted a few times for a short time(i’m not saying he did), who cares? this was a personal challenge, a charity challenge and not a sanctioned event. just 50 consecutive 50 mile bike rides in a row is impressive.

    swimming downstream? again more effort to stay afloat that move forward.

    when was the last time you did any of those?

    i followed him on facebook and cheered him on in my state when he came by. really nice guy and very tenacious. i applaud his actions. this was a huge task and he completed it.

  8. Veganpotter on

    ascar…I didn’t literally mean he ran downhill. That said, Mt. Haleakala and Mona Loa will give you over a 26 mile, downhill run. As for the bike, MOST of his bike rides had a flock of other bikers…pictures HE POSTED don’t lie. Ever draft? And yes, this is a lot of work and still impressive but still fudging what happened. That is a problem. He set out a plan to do Ironman events, if he felt better, I’m sure he would have done it unassisted. But when he cracked, the pressure was too high to not cheat his way to the finish.

    The charity portion has also had its questions, he’s raised little money over the expenses for the event. If it was more official, he would have surely raised a ton of money but since it wasn’t, he didn’t. Jamie Oliver’s organization actually didn’t know anything about this guy until he started his efforts…that’s pretty questionable. Oh…I’m going to do X event and raise X amount of dollars for a major organization and not tell them a thing about it…weird at best

  9. PTymn Wolfe on

    I hope someone starts to promote Gravel Grinder Ironmans. What do you think the best gear ratio for GGI’s would be?

  10. pfs on

    Just driving through all 50 states in 50 days in impressive. I cant imagine trying to ride in all of them as well. He must be drawing magical power from his beard, its really the only logical explanation.

  11. Itchy Bon on

    It is a shame that his challenge wasn’t quite as official as it should have been, but still a great feat none the less. I wonder what Dean Karnazes would think.

  12. Veganpotter on

    tw…he’s a great athlete. But what he did is exercise 16-18 hours a day, not do 50 ironmans. My bet is that he barely gets a couple thousand bucks for the charity after paying all his bills for his event. Notice that most fundraisers state what they raised and thank the donors? My guess, is that that hasn’t happened because he’s still paying his bills from doing this thing…which was still pretty awesome but not what he said it was gonna be

    And yes, I’m a washed up track athlete(has been all-American)…now I’m actually a cat 1/2 stage champion Time Trialist. I’m not completely clueless

  13. MrRight on

    @veganpotter He spoke at my work before he started this and Jamie Oliver was onboard before he started. Get your facts straight and don’t share comments that you dont have actual data behind. Unless you were with him on every race you have no idea what he did and didnt do. (deleted)

  14. Joe P on

    I congratulate the guy for his effort, preparation and tenacity to do it. I’d rather saw off my leg than run down hill – I hate hiking down hill much less running.


    VP your first in line to show us you could do the same anytime you’d like to step forward.

  15. Jese on

    Can you imagine your significant other saying to you: “honey, I’m going to stop working, train to raise money for something other than my children, and relinquish all household/family responsibilities.”

    He has 5 kids!!??

  16. Jordan P on

    Cant believe the trolls on this. Whether you view it as a true ironman or not, it is still an incredible feat of human endurance and an amazing achievement not only for himself but everyone else who got inspired by him doing this

  17. Mollusk on

    Beard motor FTW! Even if he had motor paced the bike legs alone it’s impressive enough. “All he did was exercise 16-18 hours a day” for 50 freakin days. Mind-boggling endurance. I couldn’t even roll downhill for 26.2 miles.


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