Lyn Lemaire

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Lyn Lemaire
Medal record
Women's triathlon
Representing  United States
Ironman World Championship
Gold medal – first place 1979 Individual

Eleanor Lynette Lemaire (born c.1951), also known as Lyn Lemaire, is an American former triathlete and championship cyclist. In 1979 she was the first woman to complete the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, becoming the world's first female "Ironman" and – by default as the only woman in the race – the first female winner of the Ironman championship. She also held the U.S. women's record for the 25-mile (40 km) bicycle time trial.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Lemaire was born in Santa Monica, California, and educated at UCLA, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in biochemistry in 1974.[2] At high school she entered four national swimming championships, and at UCLA she played all three positions in basketball. As a senior, she cycled from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and the following summer vacation she spent cycle touring around England and northern Europe.[2]

Bicycle racing achievements[edit]

After finishing second in 1975, Lemaire won the U.S. National 25-mile (40 km) time trial championships in 1976, setting a new record[2] of 1:00:06.7. She retained her title the following year, and finished second in 1978.[3] At the 1976 U.S. National track championships held in Northbrook, IL, she finished third in the 3000 m individual pursuit, beating Susan Gurney into 4th place. In the same event two years later, she again placed third, in a time of 4:14.17, a faster time than the second place racer, Betsy Davis.[4] In the U.S. National Road Race Championships, she placed 7th in the 1975 event (35 mi) and 10th in the 1977 event (38.24 mi).[5]


The second annual Hawaii Ironman race was held January 1979 during Honolulu's stormy season and in the middle of some of the worst weather for several years. The weather forced the postponement of the race by one day, and remained sufficiently bad that only 15 out of the original 28 entrants attempted the race. Among these was Lemaire, the only woman in the race.[1]

At one point in the bike stage she was in second place, only 10 minutes behind the race leader and eventual winner, Tom Warren;[1] she was 21 minutes behind the leader at the end of the bike stage, and eventually finished in 5th place overall.[6] in a time of 12:55:38.[7]

Later life[edit]

Lemaire entered Harvard Law School in September 1979.[2]

In 1984, with investment from Norman Raben,[8] she founded Ultrasport magazine, becoming its Editor-in-chief.[9]


Date Position Event Swim
1979 1st Ironman Triathlon, Hawaii 1:16:20 6:30:00 5:10:00 12:55:38


  1. ^ a b c Barry McDermott (1979-05-14). "Ironman - to earn that title, Tom Warren victoriously swam 2.4 miles through rough seas, bicycled 112 miles and all ran a marathon, all in a single day of agony". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  2. ^ a b c d Gail Jennes (1979-08-27). "The Fifth Best 'Iron Man' Is a Woman, Versatile Lyn Lemaire". People Weekly. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  3. ^ "US National Time Trial Champions 1975-1981". 1998-01-26. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  4. ^ "US National Track Champions 1972-1981". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. n.d. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  5. ^ "US National Road Champions 1972-1981". Chippewa Valley Cycling Club. 1998-01-12. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  6. ^ "Media Guide, 2007 Ford Ironman World Championship 70.3" (pdf). World Triathlon Corporation. 2007-11-10. pp. p. 13. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  7. ^ "Kona Stats, Including Age Group Records". World Triathlon Corporation. 2007-10-07. Archived from the original on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  8. ^ Philip H. Dougherty (1984-01-18). "Norman Raben to Buy Ultrasport Magazine". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  9. ^ Lyn Lemaire (July 1986). "Meeting the entrepreneurial challenge". Folio Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-26.