Lance Armstrong may be banned for life from officially competing in events sanctioned by Olympic governing bodies, but that hasn’t kept him from participating, especially in triathlons.
And, when he does, he usually wins. He’s still Lance Armstrong, even at the age of 41 and events are discovering that having Armstrong as a participant outweighs official certification by sanctioning bodies, like USA Triathlon.
On Sunday, Armstrong won the 34th SuperFrog Triathlon on Coronado Island in Southern Calif., completing the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike “ride” and 13.1-mile run in 3 hours, 49 minutes, 45 seconds. Officials for the race, which raises money for the Navy SEAL Foundation, abandoned its quest for USAT certification when Armstrong applied. Registration spiked to a record 825 entrants, at a fee as high as $275 each. “The last 200 are the Lance effect,” Superfrog director Mitch Hall told the Wall Street Journal, Armstrong also agreed to host a postrace fundraiser.
The SuperFrog win is really more of an indicator that Armstrong is just getting on with his life, as he promised when he was banned and stripped of his Tour de France titles, than anything. Today, for instance, is Livestrong Global Day for his cancer foundation. On Sunday, he’ll be in Baltimore to participate in the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults’ Half Full Triathlon, doing the half-distance cancer survivor wave. As with the Superfrog, race officials have chosen to pass up official sanctioning and have been been rewarded with an increase in entries. Armstrong remains enormously popular, with a recent Washington Post user poll showing that 57 percent of voters do not believe he is guilty of doping.
Text: Armstrong’s statement
Photos: Gallery of Armstrong’s career