Lance Armstrong is finally to race in Ironman competition this year with a packed schedule including Ironman 70.3 Panama, Ironman 70.3 Texas, Ironman 70.3 Florida, Ironman 70.3 Hawaii and Ironman France.

Lance is finally going to race Ironman this year

Seven-time Tour de France Champion, Lance Armstrong, will race as a pro with the aim of making it to the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii as well as raising $1 million for his charity, Livestrong. See full story from Livestrong.org below.

Today Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor, champion cyclist and LIVESTRONG founder and chairman, announced a new partnership with Ironman® that will bring more than $1 million to LIVESTRONG®. As part of the partnership, Armstrong will compete as a professional athlete in several Ironman and Ironman 70.3® races this year including Ironman 70.3 Panama, Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas, Ironman 70.3 Florida, Ironman 70.3 Hawaii and Ironman France. Armstrong is racing with the goal of qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 13, 2012, and will be competing as a member of Team LIVESTRONG, which is adding these Ironman races to its endurance events series designed to raise funds for people affected by cancer.

“I am grateful to Ironman for the opportunity to compete with Team LIVESTRONG to raise funds and awareness for people affected by cancer,” said Armstrong. “In my career as an athlete and as a cancer advocate, I’ve learned that progress demands partnership, but it’s not without a struggle. And that’s what Team LIVESTRONG is about – it’s about purpose; it’s about challenge and it’s about empowering survivors to fight like hell. There’s progress to be made with cancer and we invite anyone up for the challenge to join Team LIVESTRONG.”

“At 13 years old, Lance got his start in triathlon by racing in the IronKids® Series,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of World Triathlon Corporation. “At 16 years old, he went pro and was considered a star in our sport. At only 18, he was racing against the best triathletes in the world: Mark Allen, Dave Scott and Scott Molina. We are happy to have him return to our sport. Lance is a fierce competitor and his involvement with Ironman and 70.3 is good for triathlon.”

“Lance’s involvement at perhaps the toughest one-day event in all of sport sheds light on what surviving cancer can mean to millions around the world,” said Scott Tinley, two-time Ironman World Champion and Ironman Hall of Fame Inductee. “I remember Lance as a determined kid who channeled that competitive spirit into an amazing career as a cyclist, survivor and advocate for survivors of a horrible disease. A partnership between LIVESTRONG and Ironman will help improve the lives of people affected by cancer. People need to realize that Lance’s foundation represents the use of sport to improve our world. There are only positive things that can come from having Lance join the Ironman family.”

“Lance is an exceptional athlete; he’s the type of person who wants to excel and be the best at whatever he puts his mind to,” said Chris Lieto. “I’m excited to see how his participation in our sport will draw attention to what it takes to be a triathlete and how challenging it can be. It will definitely bring triathlon more into the mainstream and I know pro athletes, including myself, will look forward to racing with him in future events.”

“It is exciting to see Lance Armstrong, one of the greatest-ever endurance athletes, coming back to race triathlons in 2012,” said Craig Alexander, three-time Ironman World Champion and two-time Ironman 70.3 World Champion.

Through this partnership, Ironman will serve as a gold-level sponsor for the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge Series. As a sponsor, Ironman will donate 1,000 entries to the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events at which Lance will compete, as well as four Ironman World Championship slots in 2012 and 2013 to be auctioned with proceeds going directly to LIVESTRONG.

Team LIVESTRONG has a limited number of entries for these events and people interested in joining Armstrong should visit www.TeamLIVESTRONG.org for more information. Athletes who are already registered for one of these Ironman or Ironman 70.3 events can still race as part of Team LIVESTRONG. General entry is also still available for each of these events and can be accessed at www.ironman.com.

LIVESTRONG is the brand of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, created in 1997 by the cancer survivor and champion cyclist to serve people living with cancer and empower communities to take action. The Foundation specializes in patient navigation services that help cancer survivors and their families overcome the insurance, financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany a cancer diagnosis. As a member of Team LIVESTRONG, people walk, run, ride or tri in the fight against cancer in the LIVESTRONG Challenge Series or in other major athletic events around the world. By participating and fundraising for Team LIVESTRONG, participants join a group of committed individuals dedicated to inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer. To date, Team LIVESTRONG participants have raised $82 million for Foundation programs and services. For more information, visit TeamLIVESTRONG.org.

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