Participating in a 70.3 Ironman competition takes training, guts and dedication but competing in over 20 in a span of only 30 weeks, well that takes more then determination and hard-work.
In last weekend’s Lake Stevens 70.3 Ironman Triathlon, Utah native James Lawrence, 34, competed in his 14th Ironman 70.3 this year trying to set a world record of twenty 70.3 Ironmans in one year.
“I have just begun a massive quest that will end with a few world records and millions of people being affected in Africa. My project is called Tri and Give a Dam. I will be racing 20 half Ironman races in 2010 here in the US and in Canada,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence isn’t pushing his body to the limit for the sheer joy of competition, he does it to bring awareness and hopefully funds to the Tri and Give a Dam non-profit organization, which builds dams and water retention systems in Africa.
“Water shortage is a global issue and a growing concern,” Lawrence explains on his website. “My goal is to reverse the ravaging effects of the drought in Africa, through my passion: triathlons! I am accepting pledges for In Our Own Quiet Way, a 501(C)3 organization that is building dams in Kenya to retain rainfall. Quiet Way’s ‘Give a Dam’ project is an innovative, self-sustaining program, and you can be a part of it.”
The retention projects can serve the people of Kenya in two ways. First, when it does rain, the systems dam the water and second, they create irrigation water, which naturally seeps back into the ground giving wells more water, thus, making it easier for the people to grow crops and survive on their own.
“The most meaningful part is two fold,’ Lawrence explains. “One, the impact we are having over in Africa. If in the end we only build the one dam, it was a tremendous success. Lives have been changed and saved. I wouldn’t change that for anything. And two,; It has been extremely meaningful to me to see the love and support that I have from my wife, kids, family and friends. It has been an amazing journey of love and support and I can’t wait to continue to grow as a person, husband and father.”
Donating to the Give a Dam projects is simple and can be done online or by text. You can find out more at www.triandgiveadam.com or www.quietway.org.
“If you commit to a $5 minimum donation, together we will earn enough to build 1,000 dams, potentially saving 3,000,000 lives,” Lawrence tells us.
A father of five, Lawrence competed in his first Ironman 70.3 in 2005 in St. George, Utah after a friend basically dared him to.
Now, five short years later, he is a fierce competitor on a mission to literally help save the world.
In 2011, Lawrence is planning to compete in 20 half-triathlons all over the world.
“In 2011 I will be doing 20 half Ironmans again, however this time I will compete in 20 International locations,” he said. “In 2012 I will be going for a new world record of 20 full Ironman races.”
Lawrence’s determination has not faltered and neither has his body.
“Shocking to me and the triathlon world I have been recovering really well. I actually seem to be getting faster when most critics said I would slow down and get injured,” he said. “Can’t wait to see what they will say when I cross the finish line at the world championships and break that world record. Wait till I do 20 full Ironman events in one year.”
To donate, follow Lawrence’s progress or to find out more about Tri and Give A Dam, visit www.triandgiveadam.com