Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Missing The Story: Jones Outsprints #Lance...Daughter Annoyed

This video has been circulating of Lance Armstrong seemingly snubbing his daughter at the finish of the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 in Texas.  As he crosses the finish line, some say Lance completely ignores his daughter's ear piercing “Dad” shouts while holding a finisher’s medal.  I say phooey.  You’re completely missing the story here.  Like golf headlines featuring Tiger when someone else won the tournament, you're the one ignoring the guy with bib #34 living every cyclist’s dream and sprinting past Lance Armstrong.  I looked him up.  That guy pippin’ Lance for an extra payout spot is Jordan Jones of Golden, CO.

If you want a real venue to criticize parenting, visit the crazy town known as the local Easter Egg Hunt this weekend.  The way Jones flies into the frame, it's obvious to me the finish line is no place to stop for a daddy moment.  Aside from being 150 pounds traveling at high speed, athletes heart rates are pegged higher than a temper tantrum, their tummies really ache, their bodies feel like one giant boo-boo and their minds are so clouded with lactic acid and mileage math that, yes, unless there's a complete family emergency at the finish, off the course is probably a better place for a kiss to make it all better.  In a post race interview on the IronMan website, Lance describes the race as a sufferfest, stomach problems slowing him to a walk on part of the run, “I had significant GI issues on the run and even on the bike. I have to figure that part out otherwise you always run into issues where you can’t get food and liquid into the body.”  If you want more proof of what it's like to be in that moment, read Jordan Jones’ recolection of the finish below.  He didn’t even know he passed Lance Armstrong, one of the most famous and recognizable athletes in the world, till after he passed him.  However, there’ll be no apologies at the dinner table.

From Going into the last lap with 4 miles to go I was in 9th and it was really game time.  It was hot and I was suffering but so was everyone else.  I got into 8th, the last prize money spot, and kept pressing.  At mile 12 I managed to catch Marino.
I surmised that I had 6 minutes to go and mentally chunked that into three two minute segments.  By the final two minutes, it hurt so bad that I had to start breaking it down into 100 meter sections in order to will myself to holding onto my pace all the way to the line.  With all of the work that I’ve put in and support I’ve gotten from others, I was going to fight for every possible second. Since it was a loop course, there were age group athletes completing their first loop around me but I didn’t perceive 6th place to be in sight.  Then, suddenly, where the course split between the finish line and more loops I saw an athlete just ahead take a left to the finish.  I instinctively started sprinting and expected the finish chute to be 100m long, giving me a shot at 6th.  I turned the corner and saw two things: where 6th place was and where the finish line was.  I realized that the finish was only 30 meters away, much closer than I had expected, but that I still had a shot at gaining one more spot.  I turned it up one more notch and absolutely went for it.  Right at the line I made the pass and realized it was Lance Armstrong.  (click here for the full story on

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