Ironman Texas 70.3 starring Lance Armstrong

Tim O’Donnell won the Texas 70.3 Ironman in 3:47:40 for the men today!IMG_9236 (800x533)IMG_9226 (800x746)

Kelly Williamson won it in 4:13:27 for the ladies!kelly williamson wins

But, the buzz around Galveston, TX was all about ARMSTRONG!armstrong on bike

Let’s start from the beginning….

This morning the Refuel blogging team woke up watch the Ironman Texas 70.3 in Galveston. I grabbed some water and a cereal trail mix from home. I’m pretty sure I was still half asleep as we made our way to the swim start.IMG_8935 (800x533)

We had full media access and were able to get right on the pier and watch the pro-men’s and ladies warm up and take off!IMG_8952 (800x533)

The first few waves of athletes were very serious. It was intense and exciting.IMG_8947 (800x533)

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After a few waves we hustled to the Swim Finish to watch the men come in. They all stayed fairly close and came out of the water in a tight race.IMG_9009 (800x533)IMG_8997 (800x533)

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And then it was Lance’s show. I mean, it was time for the bike. IMG_9013 (800x533)

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(Confession: I’m terrified of getting clips on my bike. That is one of the top 2 reasons I’ve never done a triathlon.)bike part of ironman

After watching the guys take off for the ride we hopped in the car to watch the action unfold. in the car at ironman

Our group drove out to the bike route and was able to ride along side the bikers for miles and miles. We cheered and cheered for everyone like complete chocolate milk fueled crazies. Okay, maybe a little heavier cheering for Marino Winking smilebike in galvaston

Of course Lance Armstrong pulled ahead on the bike. It was pretty amazing to watch the best cyclist of all time in action!IMG_9101 (800x533)

Even though he placed 7th in the Galveston race, Lance Armstrong was the star of this show. IMG_9162 (800x533)

As we drove or walked by spectators I repeatedly heard, “That’s Lance Armstrong!!!”  “Armstrong is coming!!!!”

“Did you see him?!?!!”

One lady was on her phone saying, “I just saw Lance Armstrong!!!!”

The race was front page news on the local paper. Security was amped up and the media swarmed him every chance we got. He placed 2nd in the recent Panama 70.3 so the attention isn’t unwarranted. It’s just very obvious that he is the main event.

And I get it, watching the lead car right in front of him…. timex lead carThen, seeing him fly by is crazy cool.

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Marino was able to stay very close to Armstrong. Yeah buddy.marino ironman

After the lead men and women flew by on the way back towards the 2nd transition we headed back too. I took TONS Of pictures of the athletes riding by. IMG_9061 (800x533)

Go go go!IMG_9067 (800x533)ironman in action

We found a good place to hop off the car and see them coming out and back.IMG_9123 (800x533)

Coming out of the bike Armstrong was first, Marino was in second. IMG_9165 (800x533)biking in IMG_9177 (800x533)IMG_9170 (800x533)

I don’t know, but we speculated that you win or lose a triathlon in the run because both men fell off.

Even though Armstrong fell back he was still the man everyone was waiting for. The crowds screamed for him and pushed in to take pictures each of his 3 laps of the run course. IMG_9180 (800x533)IMG_9175 (800x533)IMG_9182 (800x533)IMG_9172 (800x533)crowds at ironman

For a while Tim O’Donnell was in 2nd or 3rd but PUSHED to 1st in the last two miles. Watching him come in was amazing!IMG_9236 (800x533)IMG_9227 (800x533)IMG_9226 (800x746)

Lance’s finishLance finishes Texas

The women’s winner – Kelly Williamsonkelly wins ironman texaskatie wins ironman texas 703

After the race we stayed and watched more elites come in. I am a new fan of Caitlin Snow – she just seems like a doll. caitlin snow

Tim O’Donnell was very cool and friendly!tim odonnell post ironman

EVERYONE who completed this event is a complete rock star. I’m inspired to give a tri a try sometime soon. But, I do have to admit watching the run has me itching to sign up for a marathon asap! I want a new goal! running feet

I have more details from the weekend to share tomorrow, but I think this post is long enough. Let me know if you have any questions about the event so I can include them.

I’m blogging from the flight back home. This weekend was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had! I loved it and can’t wait to set some new goals! I’m inspired and feel so lucky. Thank you to Chocolate Milk Refuel for sending me!Lieto_Presser_014

Epic pic.running with chris lieto

Question: Swim, Bike, Run – What’s your favorite?


  1. says

    I think probably running, but eventually I’d like to be able to say cycling.

    How cool would it be to be able to say you beat Lance at something? 😉 Everyone could kick my butt, that’s for sure!

  2. Ida says

    running is my 1st love, but biking is fun too.
    Looks like an awesome day, so cool that you got out on the course to see lots of action. And Lance’s bike is insane!

  3. says

    Just completed my 3rd tri yesterday (1st international distance-yay) and loved the run. I felt great! I love the swim too, although its scary to swim in a triathlon, even being a swimmer myself. it’s a completely different experience than any running event, but I do enjoy them quite a bit! can’t wait for my next one in September!

  4. says

    So cool that you got to document this event! I am definitely not a swimmer but I can do the run and bike thing. Maybe a duathlon is in my future.

  5. NurseG says

    I think Iwould love to do a tri sometime!!! Biking and swimming are my favorites, I am new to running so once I get that under control…watch out !! Thanks for all your awesome inspiration!!!

  6. says

    So far, run, but I am beginning to learn that this is pretty standard, right? Some day I will buy a bike. That’s my current big (self) saving goal!

  7. says

    What an awesome opportunity!! Yeah it’s no surprise that Lance killed it on the bike…seriously though is there anything that many isn’t good at??

  8. says

    Cait Snow is a sweetie and SUPER FAST. And you’re right, the race comes down to the run….if you go out too fast on the bike, you lose it. I like the run best anyways though :-) Might want to edit your post-Lance came in 7th, not 4th!

  9. says

    I could feel the static of excitement in the air from your recap! I’m a biker all the way, but I run for the challenge, and I stay away from swimming unless playing marco polo. A few years ago, Lance did the Leadville 100-a 100 mile mountain bike race at 13,000 feet. It was great to watch him go head to head with the current winner, but I also felt that it took away from the people who have trained for years and made a name in the sport.

  10. says

    What a very cool experience. I am currently training for my first Half Ironman, my 5th triathlon. I love swimming and running, cycling is definitely my weak leg. I want to hear more about your day! Did you watch any of the age groupers or just the pros?

  11. alison says

    I love cycling. I work for a cycling comany, and monica, YOU CAN TOTALLY CLIP IN! I promise. it’s not as scary as it seems. and it makes you so fast. you can do it! i have faith in you.

  12. says

    How exciting and inspiring! Great pics and recap!!
    My preference is to run, but I’ve been itching to get back on a bike…JUST for fun!

  13. says

    how fun!! i dont think ive ever actually been a spectator at a race like that…i should try it sometime haha. my favorite is running…but i love to swim too it just makes me feel so good. its hard too!!

  14. says

    I love to swim after swimming in high school, but never do it anymore. I am so jealous of this experience – I can’t believe how close you were to the athletes! It was inspiring just reading about it, can’t wait for the follow up post!

  15. says

    I’m not sure I have a favorite. I have run two races, but I’m not fast or anything. I can float really well (thank you, body fat!), but I don’t know any swimming strokes that are real. And I don’t own a bike.

    I think my favorite sport is walking and doing random exercise videos. Is cat petting a sport?

  16. Laura says

    I absolutely LOVE triathlons. I am on my college’s club team and it has been the best experience of my life. I was a swimmer for a long time so it is my best leg, although not my favorite. I trained for my first half-marathon and marathon this winter and got addicted to running, so right now it is my favorite part. Cycling is my weakest leg. It annoys me that people who have super expensive bikes can go faster with no extra work. With running, the playing field is level.

    You should definitely give triathlons a chance. I promise, clipped in shoes are not scary. It just takes some practice. You also don’t have to use clipped in shoes to do a tri. You can just use cages or use regular pedals. I promise, once you start, you won’t want to stop!

  17. says

    Oh my goodness, because of race weekend I’m behind on my blog stalking, and I didn’t realize you were at Galveston! It was my first half ironman and seriously, you will have to do one some time. Finishing was a feeling ive never experienced before! Hope you enjoyed Texas:)!

      • says

        I’m happy with it! Finishing was my biggest goal and I did:) And DO NOT let the whole clip-in pedals stop you from doing the whole tri thing. The bike is what kept me from not doing these things, but with a little practice I’ve come to learn the basics and really enjoy the tri races and the community!

  18. Tami says

    Cait snow is very nice. She is some what of a local star where I live. I “swam” with her in lake placid…I mean, we were both in the water at the same time…but not together…her husband is a cutie too.

  19. Phebe says

    This post was awesome! It’s really cool that you got to see Lance and all the other athletes up close and personal. They’re in such incredible shape – very inspiring, thanks! :)

  20. says

    I’m a runner first and foremost, but ALL THREE!!! I did my first half ironman last year and do a handful of olympic and sprint tris over the summer every year. They’re such a great workout. Swimming took me at least a year to build up endurance, but now I can get in with the master’s swim and hold my own :-)

    Oh, and the clips are easy! Just practice once and you’ll get it down. Now riding in the aero position, that’s another story. I had to work on that for awhile because it works different muscles in your legs

  21. says

    you gals are one heck of support team! we love chris, great guy and so happy for the new refuel team. AWESOME for the sport too!

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