He’s been talking about getting into ultrarunning and now it’s confirmed: Lance Armstrong is training to go the long distances.
This has been confirmed this week with news that he is signed up for the training event held by the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run.
The training event is happened Feb. 13 and the former cyclist who had all seven of his Tour De France titles stripped when he was caught doping, is signed up to run. For those who caught the December reports of Armstrong saying he was looking to get into the world of ultras, this isn’t too surprising. Back then he told Movember Radio “Part of me wants to go run an ultra, or find a 100-miler to run or go find an obstacle-course race that’s super challenging.”
It looks like he’s doing just that.
The training camp happening in less than two weeks has athletes train on the final 20 miles of the infamous race course. Showing up to train though doesn’t necessarily mean an athlete is signed up for the race. Currently, Armstrong is not registered for the 2016 Western States 100.
The Western States 100 is a big deal in the trail and ultra scene– most see it as the most important event. It’s incredibly prestigious and draws the most talented ultra runners from all corners of the world. Both the 2015 and 2014 races were won by Canadian trail icon Rob Krar who is originally from Hamilton.
Not only is it a heck of a long haul, the course that runs through Squaw Valley, California also has incredibly technical terrain, an elevation gain of 18,000 feet and a descent of 23,000. As the race’s website describes it, it’s “one of the undisputed crown jewels of human endurance.”
And now Armstrong, who has been disgraced since handed his ban in 2012, is showing interest.
“I think it’s going to be funny to watch and see how people react,” said five-time Western States champion Tim Twietmeyer in an interview with The Sacramento Bee. He sits on the race’s board and says that they will soon be discussing how they are going to address athletes who have previously been caught using banned drugs.
The race is going to be held on July 25-26, 2016.