Lance Armstrong set to take on N.Y. marathon

Lance_3Celebrity marathon runners have been a staple since Oprah Winfrey gritted her way through the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., in 1994. Oprah’s feat, celebrated on her show, is credited by some with helping to produce a second running boom that’s seen marathons swell with participants. Everyone from Will Ferrell (Boston, 2003) to George W. Bush (Houston, 1993) to P. Diddy (New York, 2002) has helped add a little celeb glamour to market marathons to the masses. Now, the ING New York City Marathon is getting a different kind of celebrity runner: the kind with a heart 1.5 times the size of the average human. Lance Armstrong told the Associated Press this week that he’d run this fall’s race. How will Lance do? Letsrun.com unearthed a small 5K race Lance ran recently in Texas, where he finished eighth with a respectable time of 18:20. Taking into account the longer distance, the 5K pace would work out to Lance running a 2:58 marathon. Somehow I doubt the seven-time winner of the Tour de France would dig getting beat by 450-plus people, based on last year’s NYC Marathon results. In any case, he’s sure to beat Oprah’s 4:29, Diddy’s 4:14, Ferrell’s 4:02 and Bush’s 3:44. His stiffest competition might be his ex-wife, Kristin Armstrong, a Runner’s World writer, who clocked 3:45 in last year’s NYC marathon.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey

Photo Credit: Zach Lipp/AdMedia/Sipa Press