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Armstrong Preparing for NYC Marathon


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Armstrong Preparing for NYC Marathon

Sep 20 10:11 PM US/Eastern



AP National Writer




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Right around the corner from Trump Tower, Lance Armstrong

jogged across Madison Avenue during rush hour, dodging a police

motorcade speeding to the United Nations, a bicyclist delivering

Chinese takeout and two women in heels scrambling for the bus.

A crowded, hectic setting in midtown Manhattan, much like what he'll

see in 6 1/2 weeks when he runs his first New York City Marathon. He

thinks he can finish within one hour of the winner, and has done 6

1/2-minute miles in training.


But for all 26.2 miles?

"It's been harder physically than I expected," the seven-time Tour de

France winner said Wednesday. "Just the pounding. The aches and pains

associated with running. My hips, joints. Running is an impact sport,

certainly as opposed to cycling."

"The longest run I've done, I think is 13," he said. "I better do a longer one soon. Probably not a bad idea."

The Nov. 5 race will certainly help Armstrong raise awareness and money

for his foundation and cancer research. It will come a month after an

important date in his life: Oct. 2 will mark 10 years since he was

diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Armstrong is ready for something that will last well past the marathon

_ questions about whether he ever used performance-enhancing drugs.

"I've sort of prepared myself to deal with it for a long time," he said.

And could he envision a time when people will stop asking?

"Probably not," he said.

Drug use has been a hot-button issue in all sports, especially cycling of late. Recent Tour de France winner Floyd Landis tested positive for elevated testosterone and suspended American cyclist Tyler Hamilton is facing a new doping investigation.

Last week, Frankie Andreu and another former Armstrong teammate who

spoke on condition of anonymity told The New York Times they used an

endurance-booster before the 1999 Tour de France, the first of

Armstrong's seven victories. Neither rider tested positive and both

said they never saw Armstrong take any illegal substance.

Armstrong, who's often said he's the most tested athlete in the world,

has never tested positive for drugs. Before he retired from cycling, he

was subject to tests at any time _ his manager said testing officials

once showed up at the home of Armstrong's then-girlfriend, Sheryl Crow.

"I get lumped in with all of the stuff that happened," Armstrong said. I mean, if something happens with Marion Jones or Barry Bonds or Floyd Landis or Tyler Hamilton, I get lumped into that."

Bonds, closing in on Hank Aaron's career home run record, has

repeatedly denied taking steroids. A federal grand jury is looking into

whether Bonds lied to another grand jury that was investigating the Bay

Area Laboratory Co-Operative.


have to say I understand what he's going through," Armstrong said. "I

think there's probably more of an association just because of the BALCO

stuff and the grand jury testimony.

"Barry is more _ it seems from the outside _ he's a tough character,"

he said. "He's not gone out of his way to try to fix the situation or

make friends there."

Armstrong, instead, has vehemently refuted each allegation, either in the press or the courts.

"My impression is that people, or fans, or people potentially on the

fence, they like it when you come out and fight. They like it when you

say, 'No, no, no, you got it wrong, this is what is right' and you lay

out the facts, again," he said.

"It's like our approach has been with these bozos that try to get sideways. We sue 'em," he said. "And we win every time."





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A regular marathon rarely translates well into a good IM marathon but we all know Lance is a former triathlete and a great swimmer. His cycling is beyond discussion and if he can put together a decent marathon he might well do a good IM.

Problem is that the top IM athletes will still give him a hiding. Most these guys are capable of sub 50min swims, just over 4hrs on the bike and sub 3hr marathons during the course of an event. I think Lance has acknowledged this and its part of the reason he has said that unless he comitted himself to being a professional athlete for another two years (something he refuses to do) he would never win an IM.
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