November 06, 2006

Lance Armstrong runs NYC Marathon in less than three hours: Impressive, considering. Says Armstrong, ""For the level of condition that I have now, that was without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done, I never felt a point where I hit the wall, it was really a gradual progression of fatigue and soreness."

posted by psmealey to other at 05:12 AM - 24 comments

I don't know much about running. How much of an accomplishment is it for a newbie to come in at under three hours?

posted by rcade at 07:15 AM on November 06

I don't know if I'd consider him a newbie. He used to do triathlons before becoming a full time cyclist.

posted by apoch at 07:28 AM on November 06

According to, advanced male runners who run 40-60 miles per week expect to run a marathon under 3 hours. Intermediate male runners who run 25-50 miles per week expect to run a marathon under 3:30. It sounds like Lance did a great job, though it also appears he really pushed, and possibly damaged, his body in order to achieve his goal. For a first-time marathon runner, I'd say his results are good.

posted by dyams at 07:36 AM on November 06

He hasn't competed in a triathlon since he was a teenager, though, if I'm correct. He's now 35. His body has changed radically since that time.

posted by dyams at 07:40 AM on November 06

How about some respect for the unnamed "Brazilian man" and "Latvian woman" who actually won? How hard could it be to get their names in this article?

posted by qbert72 at 07:43 AM on November 06

His name is Marilson Gomes dos Santos. Her name is Jelena Prokopcuka. The biggest piece of news anyone has about either one of them is that neither is from Kenya or Ethiopia, and while Gomes de Santos is the first South American to ever win the race, Prokopcuka was the defending champion, and neither was especially challenged for their lead in the second half of the race. Congratulations to both of them, but neither of them has the drawing power of a rock star running his first marathon (unless triathlons count, and he hasn't done one of those in 20 years).

posted by chicobangs at 08:01 AM on November 06

In the battle of the ex-cyclists, Armstrong is lagging behind somewhat. In the 2005 NYC Marathon, Laurent Jalabert ran a time of 2h 55" 39' - and he's two years older. But both of them have to improve hugely to beat the retired T-Mobile rider Rolf Aldag, who ran a staggering time of 2h 42" 54' in his first attempt at a marathon (last April in Hamburg). He also finished the Ironman Lanzarote a month later, beating many of the pros in a time of 10h 22" 14'. That's a 2.5 kilometre swim, a 180 kilometre bike ride and a marathon to top it off! He said afterwards ďDoctor, you can give me whatever you want. Iím not a professional cyclist anymore!Ē Hehe. So fair play to Lance, but for one time in his career he's at the rear end of the bunch!

posted by afx237vi at 08:03 AM on November 06

Doctor, you can give me whatever you want. Iím not a professional cyclist anymore! Ha! Great line. Thanks for all the info, afx237vi chico, I understand that the big story here is rock star Armstrong, but this sentence: Fans seemed much more enthused at seeing Armstrong than watching a Brazilian man and a Latvian woman win titles earlier on a crisp autumn afternoon. just reeks of jingoism to this non-American.

posted by qbert72 at 08:35 AM on November 06

think he would've broken 3 hours if he actually had to get his own water?

posted by goddam at 08:41 AM on November 06

think he would've broken 3 hours if he actually had to get his own water? Or been paced the whole distance by three legendary distance runners?

posted by afx237vi at 08:53 AM on November 06

qbert, it's the Sports Illustrated article. Of course it's jingoistic. The NYT story, on the other hand, doesn't even mention whassisface. And yeah, I'm way more impressed by George Hincapie running behind him with a 55-gallon jug of gatorade the whole way.

posted by chicobangs at 08:54 AM on November 06

just reeks of jingoism to this non-American. This story was a sidebar to the main event. I only posted it because there generally seems to be so much interest in cycling related news on SpoFi.

posted by psmealey at 09:01 AM on November 06

That's a fantastic photograph in chico's NY Times link.

posted by afx237vi at 09:11 AM on November 06

The Armstrong story is a good one. The NY Times has it too, as part of a huge special section on the event. I just disliked SI's treatment of the winners in the linked piece. Agreed with afx237vi about the photograph. And man, these guys are skinny.

posted by qbert72 at 09:31 AM on November 06

think he would've broken 3 hours if he actually had to get his own water? Or been paced the whole distance by three legendary distance runners? I thought I read it on but can't find the link now, but I recall reading that Lance himself said that if it wasn't for the fan support and pacing, it would have taken 3:30 for him to run the marathon.

posted by jmd82 at 09:52 AM on November 06

Britain's Steve Cram (the first man ever to go under three and a half minutes for the 1,500m) wrote this piece for the Guardian last week about Armstrong's (and his own) chances of breaking the three hour mark in their first ever marathon. Lance did it. Steve didn't.

posted by JJ at 10:40 AM on November 06

2:59:36? That kinda time, given Lance's goal of a sub 3 hr, smells fishy. I wonder if Nike made the timing chip inside his shoes? ;) Also, I gotta think he's pretty pissed at not beating Jalabert's (a Frenchie!) time...

posted by JohnSFO at 10:47 AM on November 06

About those triathlons that he supposedly competed in back when...were those ironmans?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:05 PM on November 06

No, the triathlons Lance competed in in his teenage years were not Ironmans.

posted by lex2000 at 01:44 PM on November 06

Right, so he's never run a full marathon before, even back then, or (apparently) in training for this one. Fairly impressive. And impressive testimony to how much marathoners beat themselves up that he indicated he was in so much physical pain. When I first heard he was running, I assumed this would be no problem for him- but I guess I underestimated how much more pounding your joints and bones take in a marathon than in a Tour.

posted by tieguy at 02:17 PM on November 06

2:59:36 Lance Armstrong is obviously an athlete in a class by himself, but as an avid jogger/runner, that time just astonishes me. It is hard for me to fathom running 7 minute miles for that length of time. I could probably do it for about 5-7 miles, but I would definitely collapse before 10. The fact that the winners are running significant better than sub 5 miles is utterly incomrehensible to me.

posted by psmealey at 02:54 PM on November 06

Right, so he's never run a full marathon before, even back then, or (apparently) in training for this one. Yeah, I seem to remember reading an article a few days ago in which he said his greatest training distance was 16 miles, so I wondered if he'd ever run 26.2 before. Apparently not. I'm very impressed.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:57 PM on November 06

I'm no runner anymore but I once lost 60 pounds jogging and the most I've ever ran is 3 1/2 miles and I'm very impressed with his time damn anything under 3 hours is awesome the pros run around 2:20 or less so damn I think he did a great job the majority of the runners just want to keep bettering their time every year he also said he didn't know if he'd ever do this again if he doesn't well he did a great job

posted by luther70 at 03:06 PM on November 06

Keep typing so fast that you have no time for punctuation and you might lose another 60 pounds. Running sub-three hours for any marathon is impressive, even if you were paced by God, had your water delivered by Jesus and a cooling sponge handed to you by the blessed virgin herself, you still have to run it. It's even more impressive because a) it was his first one, and b) New York is far from the easiest course in the world (or so I'm told by friends who have run a few marathons in various places).

posted by JJ at 03:54 AM on November 07

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.