Categorized | Multi-sport, Sports

Ironmanlife: Lance in Kona?

Ironman.com column by Kevin Mackinnon

When I asked Chann McRae what his former cycling teammate, Lance Armstrong (seen here in a picture from his Twitter page training in Kona), had said when he told him he was going to race at the Ford Ironman World Championship, he couldn’t help but grin. “He was ticked off,” McRae said. “He wanted to be the first to do an Ironman!”

Lance Armstrong training in Kona. (Photo courtesy Ironman.com)

According to an answer Armstrong provided to a question posed by an Outside Magazine reader, he’s set to join the ever-growing list of former pro cyclists who have competed in Kona that includes John Howard, McRae, Kai Hundertmarck, Laurent Jalabert and, of course, the former time trial world champion Karin Thuerig.

“Will you ever do the Ironman?” was the question. Here’s what Armstrong had to say in response:

“Yeah. Whenever I’m done with this [comeback]. I can unequivocally say yes to that. That’s a fact. And I get asked that question every day. I don’t know when it was, less than a year ago, that I got some of these Ironman DVDs. I said, Let’s see what that’s all about. So we’ve been watching them for the past year. I’m definitely motivated to do an Ironman. We’ll go back and I’ll be close to 40, but I’ve swam more in the last three years than before that. And I don’t want to just do an Ironman. I don’t want to approach it like I approached the marathons. I want to do it as fast as I can.”

I’m old enough to have actually been racing back in the days when Armstrong was a wunderkind triathlete. The guy is obviously an incredible athlete and probably would have excelled as a triathlete if that’s where he’d ended up, so it will be interesting to see just how well he would do in Kona.

Actually, maybe this whole comeback to cycling thing is really just a ploy to work on his cycling in preparation for a go at the Ironman. Think about this. He spent a couple of years working on his running. He just said that he’s been doing more swimming. Maybe the Tour de France is just part of his training for October. OK, probably not, but fun to imagine, anyway.

— Reach Kevin Mackinnon at kevin@ironman.com

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