Lance Armstrong may strongly divide opinion among cycling fans, but the form US Postal rider donned his running shoes at the weekend to take on the Austin Marathon as the race’s ‘Charity Chaser’.
The concept of the charity chaser is for the chosen runner to start 22 minutes behind the rest of the field and subsequently raise money for every runner overtook in the half marathon or marathon events.
For every runner Armstrong passed, one dollar was donated to the 28 local charities who benefited from the marathon, with the overall fundraising goal the marathon set at $1 million.
There was also a crowdfund page where people could donate to the charities Armstrong was supporting which at the time of publishing this article had raised a further $5,000.
Speaking before the start Armstrong said how he felt humbled and honoured to be asked to partake in the role by High Five Events: “When I landed yesterday it was a special feeling, I’m looking forward to running around this great city and seeing things I haven’t seen in a while.”
Armstrong came home in a highly respected chip time of 3:02:13, with his gun time of 3:24:10 placing him in an overall place of 58th out of the 2,652 finishers of the marathon, half marathon and five kilometre races.
This isn’t Armstrong’s first foray into marathon running, completing his first marathon in 2006 in New York where he claimed ‘nothing was as hard as that’.
He then set his current PB the following year at the same event where the Texan ran 2:46:43.
Speaking to local TV station KXAN before the race, Armstrong also spoke about an upcoming ESPN 30 for 30 documentary being filmed about himself.
“The only thing I can do is give them access and be myself, be totally honest and transparent, and raw at times, I trust the series but I’m not in the editing room.” Armstrong said.
“The wounds have healed for me yeah, but that’s not important, there were a lot of people along for the ride for this story, so some have healed, for some people, they are healing and for some, they will never heal”