Larry Schmidt finishing Ironman 5 months post op

My name is Larry Schmidt. I am a 55 year old male, and on April 4, 2008 I had hip resurfacing surgery with Dr. Jeff Lawrence at Vernon Memorial Hospital in Viroqua Wisconsin. I did an extensive amount of research on the Surface Hippy site, and wanted to thank you for helping me through the research phase and hope phase of hip resurfacing.

I am an active age group competitor in endurance racing having done 62 marathons. 5 of those have been Ironman Triathlons, one of which was the World Ironman Championship in Hawaii in 2006. I've also competed in Ultra marathons, the longest being 100 mile run. So, my hip issue put to test my very nature and identity as my life style has been endurance racing for over 20 years.

So, I wanted to let you know that on September 7, 2008, 5 months post op at age 55 I completed my 5 Ironman competition by finishing the Wisconsin Ironman held in Madison Wisconsin. My finishing time was 15 hours 46 minutes.

It was a miracle, and I wanted to share so others can believe and hope for an active life style after surgery as well. My goal is to never have to go back for another surgery, so I do these events with care not to damage the implant.

 So, one of my long time goals of doing 100 marathons is still alive and going!!!! Thanks to Dr Lawrence and hip resurfacing along with God's healing power. I'd like to share more if you would have any questions. Feel free to contact me if you care to do so. Keep up the good work of sharing info on your sight, it was a God send to me. Thank You.


I know this, that after being diagnosed with hip arthritis and having bone on bone pain, it was just a matter of time before I needed to have something done. This was diagnosed when I returned from the Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii in October of 2006. At that time I began my research of what was available, and other "cures" for alternatives to surgery. It was at that time I was led to your website and Dr. Lawrence. He was the most renowned in our area, and the most recommended. I do know he graduated from Harvard and is still a practicing competitive athlete. To have an athletic mind set was one of my requirements in search of a Doctor to consult with.


Dr. Jeff Lawrence

I promised you a review of the past 5 years since you and I had a date with hip resurfacing surgery on my right hip on April 4, 2008. I can’t thank you enough for your skill and support in returning my everyday life to normal as that is the most important part of this memo. I also can’t thank you enough for supporting my efforts to continue my competitive running/biking/triathlon career. Most physicians would not have been as believing as you and for that I appreciate your supportive attitude. Even though there may have been some caution when we first met 5 years ago, you believed in my ability to know my body and trusted I would make good decisions and not cause extra issues in being blinded by my sport and desire to excel.

I’ve attached a log of my marathons that I keep as I complete them. You will notice that I am now up to 75 total marathons at the 26.2 mile or longer distance. My life goal is to complete all the marathons in Wisconsin and reach 100 total marathons. We still have work to do!!

My everyday life is if I’ve never had surgery, in fact I forget that I have had surgery as there has not been any pain or discomfort in my hip. I do not experience any pain from my hip when I swim or bike, so again, that is as good as it gets. However, running is quite another story. Even though my times have dropped in the marathon, the pain associated with running has not gotten better and still remains on a scale of 1-10 a 14. I am not trying to go faster as I use the pain to tell me what I can and cannot do when it comes to running. In shorter races of 10 miles or less, I’ve been able to drop my speed to 9 minutes/mile for an average. I am perplexed by the pain as it is different than anything I’ve encountered in my lifetime of competitive athletics. It is so intense during the event, last for 3-6 hours after the event at a very high intensity before settling where I can be somewhat comfortable but the next morning it is completely gone as if I’ve never ran the marathon. The only discomfort I would still feel is the normal muscular soreness and stiffness associated with doing anything for 5-6hrs. If anyone could help me understand this I would be extremely happy. My thought is that there must have been some compromised tendons/muscle or something caused by the surgery that are not performing when stressed by running and that is what is causing the pain. Or maybe due to the fact that there may have been some atrophying going on prior to surgery, maybe those dead parts never grew back. I don’t know, but sure would like to find out. The pain can be this nauseating intense pain that is very difficult at time to mentally push through. My pain meds help immensely in the recovery stage. To me this is all worth the overall benefit of still being able to continue in my sport.

Jeff, I would offer my experience to anyone who can benefit from it. I like to think that my statistics can add HOPE to the medical profession in that the work they do can restore people to their former selves and still allow them to dream and complete their dreams as I continue to do with mine. I want my statistics to offer HOPE to the individuals who have to go through the surgery so they can still see that they can keep on living their lives and doing things they were doing as good after surgery as before. I have become a student of this surgery and know that there is limited information available for people in my situation, so If I can add to the database, it would be the least that I can do.

I do not think I am causing any issues with the device that was implanted and believe you would find it as good today as the day it was put in. If you feel any of this would be valuable for someone’s study or research I’d be more than willing to help if I can.

Jeff, I have my annual physical with Mike Pace this coming Thursday. I do not have his email address and could not find it in the Gunderson system, would you be able to forward this to him by Thursday so I could also visit with Mike about this? He has been very supportive and helpful in my continuing to perform at the level I compete at. This year I turn 60 in August and that means a new age group. I am as prepared and confident as ever that I will continue my success in competition and I have you to thank for allowing me that opportunity. Please share with your staff in Viroqua and spread the Belief of the Hope in the work that they do.


1- 2012 "Firehouse 50"- 50 mile bike pack race

(Larry Schmidt pictured in center)

List of  Marathons since surgery 2008- age 55

Friday April 4 @ 7:30am:  Right Hip Resurfacing Surgery

62.  4th Wis. Ironman Triathlon---15hr:46 (Marathon-7:39)-September 2008.  @55

63.  Rails to Trails Marathon (Norwalk)---7:10---November 2008.   @55 (walk)

 2009- age 56

64.  2nd Rails to Trails Marathon---6:30---November 2009.   @56 (walk)

 2010- age 57

65.  1st Lacrosse Marathon---6:03---May 2010   @56  (walk/jog)

66.  1st Wisconsin Dells Marathon---5:45---October 2010   @57  (walk/jog)

67.  3rd Rails to Trails Marathon---5:40---November 2010   @57  (walk/jog)

 2011-age 58

68.  Sandbox Indoor Marathon---5:37---February  @57  (walk/jog)

69.  Eau Claire Marathon---5:43---May  @57  (walk/jog)

70.  4th Rails to Trails---5:35---November  @58  (walk/jog)

 2012-age 59

71.  Icebreaker Indoor Marathon---5:33---January   @58

72.  Wisconsin Marathon Kenosha---5:09---May   @58

73.  Dances w/Dirt Trail Marathon---5:14---July (1st age group)   @58

74.  9th Whistlestop Marathon---4:56---October   @59

75.  5th Rails to Trails Marathon---5:11---November   @59

 **In the last 5 years I’ve also completed numerous sprint distance triathlons and averaged 4 century (100 mile plus) bike rides per year.

 ***2012 was the best competitive results year since surgery in 2008.  I posted my fastest post-surgery marathon time with a 4hr and 56 minute marathon.  I also returned to trail running and ran my 1st post surgery trail marathon doing the “Dances with Dirt”  marathon in Wisconsin Dells and finishing 1st in the 55-59 age bracket.  

I posted my best bike race MPH with a 25.1 mph average for a 90 mile bike race at

"Race the Lake" in Fond du Lac Wisconsin in August of 2012.

 ****2013 is another aggressive event year with plans to compete in:  3 marathons, 3 bike races, multiple bike events with at least 4 century rides planned, long distance swimming.

In February I completed a 4 mile swim indoors in preparation for the open water season.

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