James "Iron Cowboy" Lawrence and his Ironman Triathlon #5 - Santa Cruz, CA

June 10, 2015

Iron Cowboy had an insanely ambitious plan - to do 50 Ironman triathlon's in 50 days, one in each state in the United States. A tough and experienced Ironman veteran yes, but can a human body do this, with no days for recovery? I wondered whether the whole plan would have to be aborted even by day 4. Day 1 was in Hawaii. Then a flight to Ankorage, Alaska for Ironman #2, then to Seattle, then to Portland, Oregon, and then to Santa Cruz for his 5th Ironman in 5 days. I was curious to meet somone who would attempt such a feat, and even excited by the idea of doing the 2.4 mile swim with him. It was scheduled for 7am Wednesday June 10. However, I'd done an intense one-legged weight workout a week earlier, being frustrated and impatient about my balky left hip musculature problem, and this unbalanced intensity highly tweeked my back and glutes on the right side, and by 6am Wednsday morning I decided to abort. By 8:10 am, I had a couple ibuprofen's in me and decided I'd at least go down to the Dream Inn transition area and see if I could help, and perhaps do a few miles of the bike course.

We kept up a good pace at 23 mph going out, but it was too much for my nerve impinged right hip, and at mile 6 I got dropped. I went on for another couple miles, to Coast Road, then turned around for some more bed time at home.

No body fat - not good for staying warm in the 53F water

A little hot soup put a smile back on

Off we go.

Riding back, this photo begged to be captured. Artichoke heaven.

A few hours later, I met our returning cowboy at the bike/run transition in Depot Park. A pile of eats awaited

The medical help, on blister duty

Hope it heals fast. Tomorrow is a hot Ironman in Las Vegas, then 44 more after that.... insane!

Some last route decisions before the marathon. The goal was - minimize pavement, maximize dirt, so the decision was to go out to Wilder State Park and run the loop a couple of times or more - cool ocean breezes, nice scenery, and softer ground.

It's an amazingly audacious enterprise - 5 down, 45 to go.... I hope he succeeds.