Skip Navigation

Iron Cowboy Prepares To Tackle The Untamed African Mountain Bike Race

Press Release / Photo : Grandstand / 05.03.2019

James Lawrence in action

James Lawrence is no stranger to feats of ultra-endurance. Known as the Iron Cowboy, Lawrence hails from Calgary, Canada, and holds the world record for the most IRONMAN distance triathlons completed in a calendar year – fifty. Not only did he complete those fifty IRONMAN triathlons in a single year, but he did them back-to-back! In 2015 Lawrence completed fifty IRONMAN distance triathlons, over fifty consecutive days; completing one in each of the United States of America’s fifty states. The feat earned him the nickname, Iron Cowboy.

After that the Absa Cape Epic should be easy, right? “Oh man I wish” Lawrence laughed at that suggestion. “This race is the real deal and I need to show it the utmost respect. IRONMAN racing is very different to mountain biking, they are completely different sports. But I hope to pull from my mental experience and ultimately have an amazing experience at the Absa Cape Epic.”

Reflecting on the challenge ahead Lawrence continued: “The thing that scares me the most with this race is the unknown. This is way outside my comfort zone. I am going to rely a lot on my teammate Mario [Santana] and his experience with the race. The element of newness is exciting for me. I will definitely be tested over these eight days.”

Lawrence’s partner, in the IRONCOWBOY team, is South African Mario Santana. Santana completed the Absa Cape Epic in 2018 and is a highly competitive age group mountain biker. While Santana’s experience in the race and in riding in South African conditions will be a great help, Lawrence is concerned about the heat. “The weather is one of my biggest concerns at this point” he confessed. “The heat is a scary thing to navigate and I hope my body responds well. As I write this we are about three weeks out and I will start some indoor heat training to try and get my body ready for the drastic change in temperature. I live and train in the Rocky Mountains, in Utah, and while we have lots of elevation to climb, which is great for training, the temperatures also very low at the moment, which isn’t quite as ideal.”

Concluding with his feelings ahead of the Absa Cape Epic Lawrence said: “We are all nervous, I just hope that it is an excited nervousness.” “We can’t change the weather or the hills, so focus on what you can control” he advised fellow first timers. “The best advice I can give is to have fun!  It is going to hurt but who cares. All we can do is focus on the next pedal stroke, smile, cheer on the competition and thank the volunteers. Oh and if you quit somewhere along the way you’ll regret it forever, so just keep turning those pedals over!”

 The Absa Cape Epic takes place from 17-24 March 2019. For more click here

[If you enjoyed this story and would like SleepMonsters to continue offering Adventure Race reporting then we need your help. Please support our Patreon campaign or make a donation via PayPal.]

More About This Event

Schurter and Langvad Guide Their Newbies Home

Schurter and Langvad Guide Their Newbies Home
Former winners Nino Schurter and Annika Langvad on Sunday completed their objectives of guiding two Absa Cape Epic newbies to victories in Read More


High Fives for Annika and Anna

High Fives for Annika and Anna
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen (Investec-songo-Specialized) collected their seventh stage win at the 2019 Absa Cape Epic to give Read More


Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Cruise to Overall Honours

Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Cruise to Overall Honours
With 70km and 1800m of vertical gain standing between Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing and overall victory on the Champs-Élysées of Read More


Langvad and Van der Breggen back on top at Absa Cape Epic

Langvad and Van der Breggen back on top at Absa Cape Epic
The leaders in both the Men's and Women's categories at the Absa Cape Epic extended their leads and both look virtually certain of Read More


Loitering within Tents

Loitering within Tents
It is the most iconic image of all: the rider village at the Absa Cape Epic. 700 identical red tents, laid out to OCD perfection. For the Read More


Locals Woo the Queen

Locals Woo the Queen
Renaissance men Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys shrugged off a disastrous first five days to win The Queen Stage of the Absa Cape Epic from Read More


SA rider is Queen of Queen Stage

SA rider is Queen of Queen Stage
South African Candice Lill and her German partner Adelheid Morath became the Queens of the Queen Stage when they won the 100km Stage 5 from Read More


Even a Crash Cannot Stop Investec-songo-Specialized

Even a Crash Cannot Stop Investec-songo-Specialized
The Investec-songo-Specialized train continues to rush toward Absa Cape Epic victory and such is their control of the Women's category Read More


Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Storm Back Through the Time Trial

Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Storm Back Through the Time Trial
The scene is set for a spectacular Queen Stage into Stellenbosch on Friday, as Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing dominated the 43-kilometre Time Trial Read More


Drama on Stage 3 Sees Yellow Jerseys Change Hands

Drama on Stage 3 Sees Yellow Jerseys Change Hands
It's not over until it's over. A disastrous rear-wheel puncture saw Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing concede the Yellow Jerseys to Cannondale Read More


Anna and Annika Keep Their Perfect Record Intact

Anna and Annika Keep Their Perfect Record Intact
The Investec-songo-Specialized duo of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen extended their lead during Stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic Read More


Hat trick for Schurter and Forster

Hat trick for Schurter and Forster
Oak Valley Estate in Elgin is an icon of the Absa Cape Epic and today's racing will once again be immortalised in the annals of the Read More


Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead

Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead
There was a tacit admission from their nearest rivals that the mountain biking-road riding combination of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Read More


Swiss Pair Consolidate Overnight Lead

Swiss Pair Consolidate Overnight Lead
The all-Swiss pairing of Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing won the 111km Stage 1 of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic in emphatic fashion on Monday 18 March. Read More


Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control

Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control
Mountain biking World Champion Annika Langvad and her road riding World and Olympic Champion partner Anna van der Breggen put down a marker Read More


Cross Country Specialists Make Intentions Clear At Prologue

Cross Country Specialists Make Intentions Clear At Prologue
Team Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing won the Prologue of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic on the slopes of Table Mountain ahead of Cannondale Factory Racing Read More


Untold Stories of the Absa Cape Epic

Untold Stories of the Absa Cape Epic
With 650 teams set to start the 2019 Absa Cape Epic on the 17th of March, there are 1 300 individual stories of dedication, Read More


Last Lions Roar On in 2019

Last Lions Roar On in 2019
The Amabubesi Finisher Club celebrates all riders who have finished three or more Absa Cape Epics. That pride of lions grows year on year, Read More


Battle Lines Drawn for 2019 Absa Cape Epic

Battle Lines Drawn for 2019 Absa Cape Epic
The pre-race press conference, held just three days before the start of the Absa Cape Epic, set the assembled mountain biking media abuzz Read More


Mixed Aspirations for Triple World Champ, Óscar Freire

Mixed Aspirations for Triple World Champ, Óscar Freire
As a former three-time World Champion whenever Óscar Freire pins a number to his kit he attracts a great deal of attention. Even if Read More


War Veterans to Battle Preconceptions By Taking On The Absa Cape Epic

War Veterans to Battle Preconceptions By Taking On The Absa Cape Epic
Jaco van Gass, British Armed Forces Parachute Regiment, and Stu Croxford, Duke of Lancaster's Infantry Regiment, are set to take on the Read More


Icon of South African Cycling to Ride his First Absa Cape Epic

Icon of South African Cycling to Ride his First Absa Cape Epic
From 2001 until he retired in 2013 there was no better known South African cyclist than Robbie Hunter. The former Rabobank, Phonak and Read More


Effervescent Hermida and Rodriguez Return to Master the Absa Cape Epic

Effervescent Hermida and Rodriguez Return to Master the Absa Cape Epic
Effervescent, quick with a joke or a laugh, Jose Antonio Hermida and Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez are two of the Absa Cape Read More


Espargaró Swaps Leathers for Lycra at the Absa Cape Epic

Espargaró Swaps Leathers for Lycra at the Absa Cape Epic
Though best known for his exploits around a race track, on two petrol powered wheels, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini MotoGP rider, Aleix Read More


Reporting On

SleepMonsters Patreon

SleepMonsters Patreon

2019 ABSA Cape Epic - 8 Days in 8 Minutes

Facebook

like us on facebook

Our Patrons

Rootstock Racing

TanzNavigation

SleepMonsters Patreon

Thank you

to all our

amazing

patrons


Rootstock Racing

Tanz Navigation

-- -- --

Brian Gatens

-- -- --

Adventure Enablers

Chipp Dodd

David Ellis

Erik Sanders

Fiona McBryde

Graham Bird

Jakub Malik

Strong Machine AR

-- -- --

Barbara Campbell

Klaus Mygind

Marco Ponteri