Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has set himself a new challenge with plans to compete for his first time in the gruelling Ironman World Championships in 2011.
In a video posted on EveryManTri.com, his coach Chris Carmichael said: “2011, [Lance Armstrong] will be here. He’s super psyched and I think he wants to do more than win his age group.”
A swimmer as a child and promising national-level triathlete in his late teens, Armstrong has also run in marathons, so he has the background to be competitive in Hawaii. The demanding event sees participants swim 3.8 km before hopping onto a bike for a 180km ride and then on foot for a marathon 42.4km run. According to the Ironman website each athlete will train for 7 months for up to 22 hours per week in preparation.
Armstrong’s story is one of sheer determination and courage. In 1997 the cyclist was diagnosed with stage III testicular cancer; it had already spread to his lungs, brain and abdomen and he also had a tumor in his testicle. Despite beginning treatment and having hemotherapy immediately, his prognosis was poor with doctors saying his chance of survival was 50 percent.
After being cured of cancer, Armstrong went on to win the Tour de France seven years in a row after going into remission, from 1999 to 2005. He retired from the profession of bicycle racing in 2005 after his seventh win, but made a comeback to the sport in 2009. Sheryl Crow , who dated Armstrong for a while, also fell victim to cancer. She beat her breast cancer to go onto raise awareness and funds for cancer research.