This week, Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong announced his ambitions to race the Ironman World Championships in October, 2012, and his plan to get there. His will race the Ironman Panama 70.3 event on Sunday, followed by the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas, Ironman 70.3 Florida, Ironman 70.3 Hawaii and Ironman France in an attempt to pick up enough qualifying points to race the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
The 40-year-old Texan is no stranger to triathlon, having won the US Sprint Triathlon series over 20 years ago, and placing 5th at the XTERRA Triathlon National Championships last year (and 23rd at Worlds, after crashing and suffering a head injury). Craig Alexander, the defending 3-time Ironman world champion and two-time Ironman 70.3 champion, welcomed Armstrong to the sport:
"It is exciting to see Lance Armstrong, one of the greatest-ever endurance athletes, coming back to race triathlons in 2012."He's going to rip it up!
[Update - Lance made a helluva debut at Ironman Panama, getting 2nd overall in 3:53, just 40+ seconds behind winner Bevan Dougherty. His swim split was right in there, and his 2:10 bike split was second only to Chris Lieto, whom he passed in the run to lead the race for a short period before Bevan caught him with a screaming 1:12 half marathon (vs. Lance's 1:17). Lance later said, "There was a time I was a great runner and I need to get back in touch with that. [Bevan] can run low 30's in the 10k...there's no way my old ass is keeping up with that."]