A Utah father of five will go after his second world record here Sept. 15 when the Grand Columbian Triathlon offers him his 23rd iron-distance race (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) since January. He’s in pursuit of 30 within a year.
James Lawrence already holds the record for half-iron distances races, according to Guinness World Records. He completed 22 of them in 30 weeks in 2010.
His schedule will take him to 10 countries on five continents this year, with races in Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. He will complete two races in his home country, Canada.
Lawrence, 35, calls the whole effort “Tri and Give a Dam.” That refers to how the idea of setting world records (and blogging about it at triandgiveadam.blogspot.com) originally occurred to him as he was looking for a way to integrate his love for triathlon with his efforts to bring water to people in Kenya.
Currently a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym, Lawrence was hired in 2009 at a non-profit called Our Own Quiet Way, which is focused on putting in dams, boreholes and wells in strategic places in drought-stricken Kenya. He still volunteers, mostly through his triathlete pursuits to raise awareness of the effort.
The Grand Columbian can also use more volunteers to keep such world-class athletes visiting the the Grand Coulee Dam area. You can sign up at thegrandcolumbian.com.