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Lance Armstrong won this weekend’s Steamboat Stinger Marathon in Steamboat Springs, Colo. This was the first race Armstrong has participated in since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency launched an investigation against the seven-time Tour de France Champion. Armstrong had planned on competing in Ironman France (with a goal of qualifying for the Ironman World Championship), but Ironman’s rules against allowing athletes who are being investigated for doping to compete kept him from the start line.
Lance Armstrong’s participation helped define Sunday’s conclusion to the Steamboat Stinger weekend as a big-time local event, and what he said afterward summed it up.
A crowd gathered as Armstrong chugged toward the finish line of Sunday’s Stinger trail marathon at the base of Howelsen Hill, cheering the world-renowned champion as he crossed the finish line, winning the inaugural 26.2-mile race.
He took a few more steps, then hunched over, eyes wide and bright yellow Livestrong tank top sagging with sweat.
“Wow,” he said, hands on his knees.
His first-place finish and time — 3 hours, 18 minutes and 10 seconds — might have made it seem a bit easy, but Armstrong’s exhaustion mirrored that of his competitors, and his opinion matched the consensus. The course was beautiful and the race was fun, but wow, the Steamboat Stinger was tough.
Finishers of the Stinger marathon painted a picture of a grueling run that left athletes — sports celebrities and plain ol’ locals alike — in awe, sweating, heaving, exhausted awe.
“It was hard,” Armstrong said. “There was a lot of vertical climbing and a lot of technical downhills and obviously it’s a marathon.
“I’ve only done three marathons, two New Yorks and a Boston. I’ve never done anything like that.”
Read more: Vaildaily.com
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– Triathlete.com Poll: Should Armstrong Race In A Non-Ironman Event?
– Armstrong Officially Ineligible For Ironman Events
– USA Triathlon: Lance Armstrong Eligible For Our Races
– Lance Armstrong’s Return To Triathlon: A Timeline
– Triathlon Community Reacts To Lance Armstrong News
– Triathlete.com Poll: Lance Armstrong Ineligible To Compete
– Lance Armstrong Faces Doping Charges From USADA