This is just a short follow-up to my June 30 post about James Lawrence, AKA The Iron Cowboy, and his quest to complete 50 Ironman-distance triathlons in 50 states in 50 days.
This past Saturday, he successfully accomplished that amazing goal, finishing his final 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bicycle ride and 26.2 mile run in Utah.
To accomplish the feat, James started his cross-country journey in Hawaii and Alaska, flying between those two states and then to the continental US where he joined his wife and five children in the motorhome that they would all live in for the next 48 days as James traveled from state to state to complete this amazing feat. As I mentioned in my earlier post, James did the challenge in order to raise money for the Jamie Oliver Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating childhood obesity. James’ goal was to raise $1 Million dollars for the foundation through donations and “race” registration fees – in every state, the general public was invited to run the last 5k of each marathon with him, for a registration fee of only $5. James reported on his Facebook page yesterday that he had raised $68,000 for the foundation as of July 25th and that he would continue his fundraising efforts beyond the end of the challenge. If you’d like to give James a virtual pat on the back and contribute to a great cause, you can donate to the Foundation via his web page here.
Extreme feats of human achievement fascinate me. We are pushing our bodies further than ever before. It’s gotten to a point where it almost seems that with the right combination of support and physical care, mental toughness is really the last frontier to physical achievement where endurance is concerned. A few weeks ago, I watched the documentary Desert Runners and had this same reaction. Watching four ordinary people run, walk, trek and climb across the four most inhospitable deserts in the world first had me asking, “WHY?!” but then very soon after, “How?” There seemed to be no special physical characteristics genetically endowed to the four, and especially not to the only one of them who successfully completed all four without incident (I won’t give away which one of them it was – you’ll have to watch to find out!) It came down to a matter of will and determination. And maybe just a little craziness.