The Real Disappointment: Lance Armstrong’s 823rd-Place New York Marathon Finish Is In Jeopardy
When Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles in August, it undoubtedly represented a disappointing moment to many people who'd viewed him as either a hero or just an inspiration (though it should be noted that for some people he inspired, what the Tour victories symbolized trumped over all). Finally, it seemed, there was too much evidence for anyone to ignore that to achieve what he did, Armstrong had to get dirty. And it was an understandably tough idea for many to confront.
Well, that was nothing. You want something that's really going to do irreparable damage to Armstrong's legacy? Check this out:
Lance Armstrong's results erased from the record books will likely include his 2006 and 2007 New York City Marathon results as well as his 2008 Boston Marathon result, according to reports.
That's it. That's the crusher. The Tour de France titles? Okay, fine. His 823rd-place finish at the 2006 New York City Marathon? Is nothing sacred?! In all seriousness, we get that yeah, the marathons have to vacate his results as a matter of procedure, since now no one believes Armstrong's been clean since his run of Tour wins started. But come on, admit it tickles your schadenfreude bone just a bit to see instead of seeing "a personal best of 214th place" rather than "all-time record seven Tour de France titles" stricken from the record books.
If we could talk some realness here for a second, though: Armstrong's marathon times, even for a world-class athlete who appears to have pumped every drug imaginable into his bloodstream, are pretty impressive. He broke three hours in his first marathon, apparently without even training all that hard? That's an average of under seven minutes a mile for 26 miles. And then he improved on that time the following year. For anyone other than a top-level trained marathoner, and even for someone running around with concentrated lightning from the hands of Thor Himself coursing through him, that's a pretty good marathon time. And that why this hurts so much, dammit.
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