Lance Armstrong may have lost his seven Tour de France titles, but he hasn't lost his drive.
The 41-year-old Armstrong won the Revolution3 Half-Full Triathlon this weekend, finishing the 70-mile swim, bike and run in 4:16. One week earlier, Armstrong won the SuperFrog Triathlon in Southern California.
As part of Armstrong's punishment from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, he is banned from competing in events sanctioned by Olympic governing bodies. And so in allowing Armstrong to race, both triathlons had to forego any chance at being certified by USA Triathlon. The certification lowers insurance rates and provides professionals an opportunity to improve on their international standing.
But the race officials say Armstrong's participation is well worth the sacrifice. Race executive Brian Satola told the Wall Street Journal that when it was announced that Armstrong was competing in the Revolution3 Half-Full Triathlon, race enrollment shot up 20 percent.
"Man, if we could get a multiyear commitment from Lance, I'd love it," Satola said.
SuperFrog director Mitch Hall told the Wall Street Journal that he thinks about 200 people signed up for the race after hearing that Armstrong was participating. Hall even received a call from ESPN about televising the event, a rarity even among the sport's most popular races.
By competing in the triathlons, Armstrong isn't just benefitting the race and its sponsor, but also his Livestrong Foundation. The races serve as free publicity for the organization (Armstrong tends to wear Livestrong gear), and Livestrong itself could organize more triathlons if Armstrong's participation becomes a serious boon for the sport.