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Armstrong Wins SuperFrog as He Defies Critics, Competes

The endurance race is the latest the 7-time winner of the Tour de France has taken part in despite lifetime suspension amid unresolved doping charges.

Please also see our SuperFrog photo gallery, Lance Wasn't Only SuperFrog: Hundreds Shine on the Silver Strand.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. Sunday with additional photos.

 

Cycling superstar Lance Armstrong won Sunday’s SuperFrog Triathlon in a course record – living up to his pre-race declaration: “I am not banned from life.”

After finishing the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run in 3 hours, 49 minutes, 45 seconds on the Silver Strand, Armstrong tweeted: “Had a helluva good time in the @superfrogtri today. Thx to all who came out and like always, a massive thanks to all the volunteers!”

Despite his recent lifetime sports ban by U.S. doping authorities, the 41-year-old Armstrong was able to compete in the 34th annual SuperFrog, a half-Ironman-distance event, because it was nonsanctioned and not subject to USADA rules.

According to the Wall Street Journal, many event organizers are making the same decision, trading official designations for the participation of someone of Armstrong's caliber and renown.

“I was ready for some negative stuff and I've gotten it, but it's not even been worth paying attention to,” race director Mitch Hall told Patch. He told U-T San Diego. “I think people have made their minds up whether Lance doped or not. We just want Lance the philanthropist, Lance of Livestrong – and that matches up with what we want to do.”

But it wasn’t an easy race for the seven-time winner of the grueling Tour de Frace.

Armstrong said Sunday: “Whoever invented that run course needs to get checked out!”

The run was on sand amid lounging surfers, a venue familiar to generations of Navy SEALs, whose members and alumni founded the event and made it legendary.

The race benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation, as will a Hotel del Coronado Q&A with Armstrong at 7 p.m Sunday, where admission ranges between $107 for general seats and $1,000 for VIPs.

Second place went to Australia’s Leon Griffin and third went to Tyler Butterfield of Bermuda, who was 34th in the London Olympic Triathlon. Beth Gerdes Walsh of Encinitas won the women’s race in 4:37:09.

In a Bermuda Sun interview published Friday, Butterfield said of Armstrong: “He’s done a lot of good things for the world and inspired a lot of people and gave them hope. He also irritates one or two people. He never was found guilty so that’s up for debate and everyone to form their own opinion, but by no means do I condone cheating in sport.”

Butterfield was also quoted as saying: “But at the same time, I’m going to be polite and nice to him as he’s done a lot outside of sport.”

According to the Superfrog website the Coronado event, designed by Navy SEALs 33 years ago, is “is the first and longest running half Ironman. The intent was twofold: to prepare SEALs for what was then the brand new Hawaii Ironman Triathlon and to encourage the new sport of triathlon in the Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and SEAL Teams where physical training was multifaceted and the competitive spirit was high.”

Julieta October 01, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Lance was never was found guilty of anything and passed every drug test given to him. No matter what the debaters say they can't ban from living a good life. Lance Armstrong is an inspiration to so many and he gives back way more than he ask in return. So I say good for you Lance, you deserve the win.
Big Ring October 01, 2012 at 07:42 AM
Interesting that the negative stuff wasn't even worth paying attention to, but it had to be deleted from Superfrog's Facebook page. Also interesting that they wanted Lance the philanthropist and Lance of Livestrong, but got Lance the doper too.
Jon Hall October 01, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Old man kicked ass --- embarrassed athletes half his age --- and a Cancer survivor to boot ...
Dikstr October 01, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Lance Armstrong is an amazing athlete and an inspiring person. The unfortunate actions by the USADA primarily sullied their reputation, providing another demonstration of why minimum interference in our lives by bureaucratic organizations, whether sports or government, should always be our goal.
Andrew Steer October 03, 2012 at 07:41 AM
The official poster boy of doping - may the best doctor/wealthiest athlete win! Well done to the clean athletes for doing their best, sorry this cheat is still stealing your limelight - keep fighting the good fight!
Jay St Pierre October 04, 2012 at 05:42 PM
lance actually failed a drug test. You should do some research. He got a doctor (One he was paying) to testify that the cream given to him (Steroidal) for his cancer recovery is what made him test posative for the steroids. His ex teamate also stated that he had watched the blood in the fridge for him as a safety measure incase of a power outage while he was out of the room. Thers plenty of other debatable subjects surrounding this but two things that are NOT is 1: He is an inspiration 2: I wasted to much time and effort on theis posting.

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