Lance Armstrong Ironman Texas 70.3 Preview

Lance Armstrong has penciled in the April 1, 2012 Ironman Texas 70.3 as the second Ironman 70.3 of his pro career.

After his sensational debut in the Ironman Panama 70.3 you can bet there will be tons of interest in this race.

Lance Armstrong pro triathlete in cycling gear

How will Lance do?


The race takes place on Galveston Island on the Texas Gulf coast.

Galveston Island is small and quaint and is deep in the heart of South Texas. Houston is to the South of Galveston Island and is less than an hours drive away.

Ironman Texas 70.3 certainly looks like the ideal family destination. Before and after the race there is something for everyone to do.

Relaxing beaches for a bit of down time, antique stores, art gallery, shopping, family entertainment are just a few of the reasons for triathletes to bring the whole family to the race and combine a great race venue with a spectacular holiday destination.


The winning time in 2011 was recorded by Chris Lieto. He had a 23:39 swim, a 2:02:15 bike, and a run time of 1:16:57 for a final finish time of 3:45:37.

Catriona Morrison won for the pro women with a time of 4:06:43.

The first 3 pro men were under 3:50 so there is little doubt that a very fast winning time can also be expected in the 2012 edition.

The 1.2 mile saltwater swim is one loop and is configured in a counter-clockwise direction. There will be two left-hand turns.

Ironman Texas 70.3 swim course map

Ironman Texas 70.3 1.2 -mile swim course

The 1.2 mile saltwater swim is one loop and is configured in a counter-clockwise direction. There will be two left-hand turns.

The first leg of the swim is the second longest and leads the swimmers to the first left-hand turn.

The second leg is the longest and travels perpendicular to the beach, before the final left hand and shortest part of the swim to the swim finish and the swim/bike transition.

Lance has already shown that he can hold his own with the best pro swimmers and most likely he will not be far off the pace coming out of the swim.

The one and a half loop 56-mile bike course that follows the Texas Gulf Coast is not especially hilly.

A blistering bike time would be no surprise with Lance most likely at or very near the front once again as the pro men reach the bike/run transition.

It would be interesting to hear what Lance would say about a fast, flat course as opposed to an extremely, challenging hilly course and if he has a preference.
ironman texas 70.3 bike course map

However when it comes to biking Lance really does not have a weakness.

I think he showed that in his Tour d’France victories when he was sensational in the Alps as well as the individual time trials where he more than held his own with the best Tour riders in the world.

The run course is 3-loops and is also fast and flat and one has to wonder what Lance’s race strategy will be.

In the Ironman Panama 70.3 Lance virtually shared the lead at the end of the bike and early in the run broke away and had a lead of several minutes.

It really looked for the longest time that Lance might hold on for the win, but was caught in the final kilometers and finished second.

ironman Texas run course

The run course is flat and fast.

It took an all-out, outstanding effort by Olympian Bevan Docherty to catch Lance. Bevan’s final time was 3:50:13 and Lance Armstrong crossed the line at 3:50:55.

So here are some questions for you………

-Will Lance be leading at the end of the bike leg and if he is, how big will the lead be?

-What will his over-all race strategy be? Will he stay off the leader’s shoulder in the bike, hold back in the run and stalk the other contenders or will he surge to the front early on in the run like he did in Panama and once again try and hold of the rest of the field?

-Will Lance win the race? If not, where do you think he will finish? Will he be on the podium again?

Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts on how Ironman Texas 70.3 will unfold.

7 thoughts on “Lance Armstrong Ironman Texas 70.3 Preview

  1. Hey Ray – great article! I guess we will all be watching Lance Armstrong in Texas. It’s exciting to see him as a triathlete! He’s also pulling a big cause behind him, and breaking 40! Is this guy unstoppable? LOL! Anyway, it’s an inspiring story for sure. Thanks for posting this:)

      • Lance will be in the lead off the bike and hold well enough through 10+ miles on the run, but a marathon after 5.5 hours of swim-bike effort will not be his forte. It take years to build up a quality Ironman run. Lance hasn’t years left. He might have, if he’d switched to triathlon 4-5 years ago, instead of going back to TDF.

        • That’s a great point and I thought if Lance had a weakness in Ironman Panama 70.3 that it would be in the run and he might not have the run endurance quite yet. As it turned out, he was caught in the last kilometers by a great runner, Bevan Docherty. Lance adapts well and like Dave Scott is a student of the game whether it’s the Tour or triathlon. It will be interesting to see what his race strategy is for Ironman Texas 70.3.

          As far as the full Ironman distance, Lance did go sub-2:50 in the New York Marathon, but it’s far different coming off a 112 mile bike on the Queen K. of course.

          I think his body weight is a key as well. He ran in New York at 173 pounds. If his weight is 155 on Ironman Hawaii day 2012, look out…

  2. I don’t doubt that he will be well educated with his competitors run capabilities. As such, will know well beforehand how much, if any, he will need to be ahead on the bike at T2 and still have enough left for the run to close.

    However his strategy unfolds, Texas 70.3 promises to be an interesting race to follow.

    • Thanks for your comment. It would not be a surprise at all to see Lance show a little more patience in Texas and let someone else hold the lead further into the race. It came as quite a surprise to see Lance make a big move so early in the run in the Panama Ironman 70.3.

      Any other day it would have been a brilliant move, but Bevan Docherty was full value for the win and had an amazing run. If not for him Lance would have won the race by two minutes.

  3. Pingback: Lance Armstrong will be tested in Ironman Texas 70.3

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