Lance Armstrong put together an amazing race by coming into T2 in 1st place, but faded on the run to cross the finish line in 7th place at Ironman 70.3 Texas which also served as the 2012 U.S. Championship at this distance. There were some really fast athletes out on the course today and from everything I have read, it sounds like the race was absolutely fantastic. Both the men and women we ready to throw down and sped through the course.
If you want to read a more detailed version, go to Slowtwitch and read their detailed account. My call for the win was Michael Raelert and he did not disappoint. He left T1 first but was quickly passed by Armstrong. The race was contested out on the bike course and Lance Armstrong came into T2 in first place. I gotta say that I think at an Iron distance race, Armstrong may be able to put some serious distance between him and 2nd place. I would predict that Armstrong or Lieto is going into T2 in first place.
Raelert only came into T2 3:30 behind Armstrong, and with his strong run, I would think that he should be able to make up that much time. But with a mile to go on the run, it looks like the race was between the eventual winner Tim O’Donnell and 2nd place Sebastian Kienle. From reports, the two battled it out until with just a short distance to do, O’Donnell was able to attack and pull away to win by only :23. That is an amazing finish if you ask me.
My prediction for the win Caitlin Snow did really well, but she finished two minutes off the podium in 4th place. Now I think the women’s race was good, but it was dominated by Kelly Williamson. Actually, Yvonne Van Vlerken from the Netherlands was the only woman not from the U.S. to finish in the top 6. It is great to see the U.S. women do so well at the U.S. Championships for this distance. Of course the 26.2ismycooldown.com darling Angela Naeth was not at this race, but instead was throwing down at Leadman. I don’t want to ruin my post for tomorrow, so let’s just say she killed it and did very, very well. She won Leadman in 2011, and I am pumped that her performance was so outstanding again in 2012.
My Suggestions for Lance
I had some time at the Tae Kwon Do State Championships to think through what I would do for the next 12 months if I were Lance Armstrong. Hoss won his division in sparring and got a bronze in a very tough poomse division and ended up qualifying for the 2012 National Tournament that will be held in June in Dallas. Yes, we will be going so he can participate in the tournament. You better believe he will be well conditioned.
If I were an adviser to Lance right now, there are a couple of suggestions I would make to him that would help him improve his image as an athlete and triathlete. First, I think he should fire his advisers and get in touch with the athletes he will be racing with. I love that professional triathletes make appearances at races and are accessible to age groupers and fans. At Oceanside most of the top pros made appearances at the booths of multiple sponsors to sign autographs and meet fans. He is Lance Armstrong, and the traffic at that booth would be overwhelming. But he could pull it off.
As he becomes less of a monk and puts himself out there, people will connect better with him as an athlete. It may or may not be part of his personality to give a crap about the average age grouper. He is a seven time winner of the Tour de France and other races and has been told for probably most of his professional life that his is the top dog and above everyone else in the peleton. While this is true, if he takes a more humble approach with triathlon, less people will have my attitude and say he is a great humanitarian but has a horrible attitude as an athlete.
He did connect with Mary Eggers for a race for charity and even answered a question from Caitlin Snow at the pro press conference for IM Texas 70.3. Mary publishes the blog ironmomma.com and is a fast triathlete and great person. The proceeds of this contest where Mary and Lance will race by kicking across a 50 meter pool and all money raised will be donated to the Teens Living with Cancer Foundation. I think this was a great start and obviously the Foundation’s mission aligns well with Armstrong’s personal mission. But it was still an unselfish extension of his celebrity and person. I can respect that.
This is exactly what I am talking about. Armstrong has worked extensively with Eldon the Fat Cyclist (he lives less than four miles from me and I am yet to ride with him), and others to make sure the mission of raising money for cancer. I love that Armstrong extended himself in the same way within the triathlon community.
So my advice Lance — because I know you read this blog all the time — is to make yourself more accessible to this community. Attending the pre-race press conference was a great gesture. Our favorite athletes are those who put themselves out there and allow age groupers to interact with them and cheer them on. They are the ones who when they are cheered on while racing, they always say thank you, or nod their head, or give you the simple finger lift. They are making a living with triathlon, but they still have time and energy for the rest of us. When you extend yourself into the triathlon community, you are going to find lots of love and support. There is nothing like it in the world.
Now my post from Pinterest cycling motivational quotes.