A US champion athlete and the first female in the world to complete the Ironman triathlon.
Born Eleanor Lynette, she has decided to take on the short name “Lyn” since “Eleanor was too pink”. From a young age, she excelled in sports – swimming in national high school competitions, playing basketball while studying for her degree in Biochemistry at UCLA, running marathons, and riding bicycles.
In 1976 she set the U.S. record for women when she completed the 25-mile bike race.
When searching for the next challenge, she heard of the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii, which was established in 1978 challenging extreme athletes to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles, and run 26 miles – without a break. In 1979 Lemaire was among 15 participants, completing it fifth, after 12 hours and 55 minutes. She was the first woman to compete in Ironman and the only woman in the competition that year.
Lyn Lemaire continued to work in athletics-related fields – researching, writing, completing her Master’s Degree in Applied Physiology and Anatomy, and publishing Ultrasport magazine, which was described by New York Times as a “magazine for people who like to overdo it athletically”. She also graduated with a Law Degree from Harvard.
“I don’t care if I lose, I like having something to train for, a goal”
More Interesting Anecdotes:
- Her parents were divorced when she was 4 years old, and she says that made her become the independent woman that she is.
- In her twenties, she made an 18-day bicycle trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles and another trip cycling in north Europe.
- When she first started cycling she didn’t know that women could compete in bicycle races.
- Her father was a lawyer, and after he died, she used the insurance money to finance her studies at Harvard Law School.