Lance Armstrong has come out once again and denied using performance enhancing drugs after Sports Illustrated has attacked the star with new found evidence. The on going saga that is Lance Armstrong and drugs use has been a constant source of media frenzy for almost a decade.
However, the pressure seems to be coming onto Armstrong as evidence mounts that he is a drugs cheat. Numerous friends and former employees have talked about finding strange items in his bathroom, such as toothpaste and Lynx spray.
Added to this growing body of evidence is a graphic picture which paints the apparently clean Armstrong in a different light. A photograph from one of our exclusive reporters of Armstrong taking his bike to his hotel room following the Tour Down Under clearly show a body which has had more than its fair share of drugs pumped into it.
When asked about his unusually big biceps and rippling six pack Armstrong was outraged and later tweeted
“Just been accused by Ozy Mandias of taking drugs. Not my fault if my guns are bigger than Texas.”
In other news Lance Armstrong has sued movie star Ben Stiller for stealing his LiveStrong concept. See below for video.
Ever wondered what the top five endurance events of all time are. I was pondering this earlier today as I followed a number of New Zealand competitors in the Kona Ironman 2009. So in between internet updates I started a list of what I considered the hardest endurance events in the world. As you could imagine the list became rather large in a short space of time. Therefore, I changed the parameters and narrowed it down to the – The Top Five Endurance Events of All Time.
When selecting these events I have tried to choose events that could be completed by what I call ‘Average Jo’. This means ANYONE with a decent level of fitness could complete the task. I have also tried to choose a wide variety of events. A little research proved there are some wild and extreme running events out there and perhaps my next post like this might just focus on running.
For me the Ironman is the ultimate endurance test for humans, and within that field the Kona Ironman is the King. Consisting of a 3.86 km swim, a 180.25 km bike and a marathon ( 42.195 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. It is without doubt one of the hardest events around. Combining three different disciplines does make this event hard and also makes training difficult as huge hours are needed.
The Ironman World Championship has been held annually since 1978 in the city of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The race consists of the swim in Kailua-Kona Bay, the bike ride across the Hawaiian lava desert to Hawi and back, and the marathon along the coast of the Big Island (from Keauhou to Keahole Point to Kailua-Kona); finishing on Ali’i Drive.
The Marathon des Sables is known as the World’s toughest footrace. The race covers 240km (in sections similar to 25, 34, 38, 82, 42, 22 km) run over 7 days – equivalent to 6 regular marathons. In addition to that, competitors have to carry everything they will need for the duration (apart from a tent) on their backs in a rucksack (food, clothes, medical kit, sleeping bag etc). Water is rationed and handed out at each checkpoint.
Competitors have to prepare all your own food throughout the race and I warn you that there is not a chain of New World stores or corner grocery shops dotted around the Sahara. Mid-day temperatures can reach up to 45°C, of running or walking on uneven rocky, stony ground as well as 15 – 20% of the distance being in sand dunes. The heat, distance and rubbing will trash your feet and may cause severe trauma if incorrect shoes and equipment are used. Mental stamina probably constitutes at least 50% of whether you will complete the distance or not. Physical fitness is important but don’t underestimate the mental stress that you will need to endure.
Good friend of mine Shem Banbury, a great guy if you happen to meet him, actually completed this race in 2005. For his diary of the race just click on the links below
– Word Document – complete with nice blister pictures
– blog page – no pictures
The Badwater Ultramarathon is the pinnacle of ultramarathons. It is a 135 mile (215 km) race starting at 282 feet (85 m) below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California’s Death Valley, and ending at an elevation of 8360 feet (2548 m) at Whitney Portal, the trailhead to Mount Whitney.The race is usually held in July, when the weather conditions are most extreme and temperatures over 120 °F (49 °C) in the shade are not uncommon. Consequently, very few people—even among ultramarathoners—are capable of finishing this race.
Originally, the run was conceived as being between the lowest and the highest points in the contiguous United States: Badwater, Death Valley (−282 ft) and Mt. Whitney’s summit (14,496 ft). The two are only eighty miles apart on the map, but the land route between the two points is substantially longer, 146 miles (235 km), because of detours around lakebeds and over mountain ranges. Due to the two mountain ranges that must be crossed between Badwater and Whitney, the course’s elevation exceeds 19,000 feet (5,800 m). This event is not for the faint hearted.
I was a little apprehensive about adding this event as all of the others can be entered by ‘Average Jo’. However a number of people complete this event by themselves after the race has finished so I included it in the list.
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race that covers approximately 3,500 kilometres (2,200 mi) throughout France and bordering countries. Although in the last few years the race has even gone in England and other neighbouring countries. The race lasts three weeks and attracts cyclists from around the world. The race is broken into day-long segments, called stages. Individual times to finish each stage are totalled to determine the overall winner at the end of the race. The rider with the lowest aggregate time at the end of each day wears a yellow jersey. The course changes every year but it has always finished in Paris. Since 1975, the climax of the final stage has been along the Champs-Élysées.
In my mind the most dangerous event in the top five is the Atlantic Rowing Race. Something about the isolation, mixed with water and sharks means this is not for the faint hearted. The Atlantic Rowing Race is an ocean rowing race from the Canary Islands to the West Indies, a distance of approximately 2,550 nm (2,930 statute miles or 4,700 km). The race was founded by Sir Chay Blyth and early races were run by Challenge Business Ltd. In October 2003 the race was bought by Woodvale Events Ltd.
The race was first held in 1997, and roughly every two years since. A total of 153 individuals have completed the voyage, with the last of the rowers from the 2005 race making landfall in Antigua on 13 March 2006. The Record for the crossing (from La Gomera to Barbados), set by a four of Phil Langman, Shaun Barker, Jason Hart and Yorkie Lomas in 2004, is 36 days, 59 minutes breaking the previous record, set by the New Zealand double, Kevin Biggar and James Fitzgerald during the 2003 race, by just over 22 hours.
So there you have it, the top five enduance event as selcted by Ozymandias Warning. I do hope these inspire you to get out and complete one of them. Alternatively if you disagree put down your vote for the TOP 5 Endurance Events of all time. There are plenty I haven’t included and as I said early in the post perhaps there is scope for more specific lists.