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When a female pro in an unmarked black kit took the lead for the majority of last year’s Ironman 70.3 California in Oceanside, even fellow pro athletes did a double-take wondering who the mystery racer was. Turns out, it was England-born Holly Lawrence. Last year, the 25-year-old went on to take third in Oceanside and finished second at Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant. So far this year, Lawrence, who trains in Los Angeles, has finished fourth in Oceanside, second at St. George and, plans to race at Escape from Alcatraz and the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
“I swam from a young age and dabbled a bit in cross country. I hit the plateau in swimming where most teenagers start dropping out—spending early mornings and late evenings at the pool, putting all the hard work in, but it’s not paying off anymore. That’s when I tried a local triathlon and just fell in love with the sport and never looked back.”
“I started racing the domestic elite short-course series in the UK around the age of 17–18 and progressed through the ranks on the British circuit. I did my first 70.3 in 2012 [Ironman 70.3 UK] just to give it a try. I rocked up on my road bike with my little draft-legal tri bars, which got a little bit of attention before the race being the only pro on a road bike instead of a TT. I came in fourth and loved it.”
“I love the idea of non-drafting where the fastest swim-bike-runner wins. There’s no making front pack in the swim, being a passenger for the bike and gearing up for a blistering run.”
“I remember saying after my first 70.3—well crying, actually—that it was such a long way and I don’t think I could ever do that again. … I still think it’s a hell of a long way!”
“I started working with [coach] Matt Dixon a little over a year ago. … I wanted someone who would help me have a long career instead of being impatient and sacrificing that for short-term success. Matt believes in me like no coach has before.”
“Last year my Pearl Izumi tri suit didn’t arrive in time for [Oceanside] so I decided to race in a plain black suit. It created a bit of a buzz, which I was obviously totally unaware of, but makes me giggle that no one knew who this unmarked girl was out in front. I had no expectations going into the race, but definitely didn’t expect to be out in the front on my own. I raced my own race and didn’t look back—pretty much how I go into every race.”
“This past winter’s focus has been to achieve consistency, be patient and evolve the technical aspects of my riding and running by embracing the details. On my recovery days I like to soak up the sun and chill out on the beach!”
A build tempo run on the treadmill
Coffee! I am a bit of a coffee addict. I have a Nespresso machine and wouldn’t like to admit or count how many I have in a day!
Biarritz, France. I love French culture.
The Chimp Paradox and Fifty Shades of Grey (I would hide the cover inside a magazine while reading on a plane to avoid those knowing looks!)
Movie or TV shows:
Trashy TV shows like “The Real Housewives” or series I can get [sucked into] like “The Good Wife”—basically anything I can watch mindlessly
Family tradition: Being a triplet and from a close-knit family, [I like] just spending time together, family gatherings, etc.
Post-race meal: A burger