November 05, 2006
Armstrong hits marathon target
Seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong finished his first race since retirement today, pulling on (Nike) running shoes instead of cleats at the New York City Marathon.
Armstrong, who said he was looking to finish in less than 3 hours, met the goal, turning in a 2:59:36 while running alongside 3-time NYC Marathon champion Alberto Salazar and Joan Benoit Samuelson.
Interest in Armstrong's first marathon led to the inclusion of a LanceCam, a dedicated camera on a press vehicle that led Armstrong along much of the course. Viewers could watch the LanceCam for $4.99 on the web.
Samuelson said the hardest thing about running with Armstrong was the constant throng of people who wanted to run alongside:
“I have never used my elbows like I had today in road racing, but there were a lot of groupies out there, a lot of roadwishers,” Samuelson said. Samuelson said the ex[h]aust from the press vehicle carrying the LanceCam also caused some problems.
“It was very difficult,” she said.
Armstrong finished 869th (824th among men) of around 37,000 participants. Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka repeated as the women's champion (in 2:25:05), while Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil took his first overall NYC win in 2:09:58.
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