KAILUA KONA, HAWAII – OCTOBER 12: Beth James and daughter Liza James of Team Liza compete in the Ironman World Championships on October 12, 2019 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

First mother-daughter team competes in Ironman World Championships

Photo courtesy of Beth James

Beth James, 54, is one heck of an “Ironmom.” The triathlete and her daughter, Liza James, recently became the first mother-daughter special team duo to compete in the Ironman World Championships. Liza James, 23, is nonverbal and unable to walk after suffering a devastating brain injury during a car accident at age 6. But that didn’t stop Liza and her mother from competing in what is arguably the most intense endurance event on the planet.

Photo courtesy of Beth James

When Beth James and Liza James compete, Beth pulls Liza, who weighs about 100 pounds, in a float that is strapped to her as she swims the race distance of 2.4 miles. During the 112-mile bike ride, Beth pulls Liza behind her in a 21-pound racing chair. When it’s time to complete the marathon-length run, Beth pushes her daughter in the racing chair.

The mother-daughter duo finished both the swim and bike portion of the World Championship, but they missed the cut-off time for the run. Though they weren’t able to complete the race during the world championships, Beth and Liza James have completed other Ironman distance triathlons.

Photo courtesy of Beth James

“Life is a gift,” Beth James told Good Morning America. “Each and every moment of each and every day is priceless. Don’t ever take it for granted. Do not ever complain. There’s always positives surrounding you.” 

Photo courtesy of Beth James