PB for Kristin Armstrong in NYC

The day before taking part in the New York marathon, Kristin Armstrong, ex-wife of Lance, reveals ho

The day before taking part in the New York marathon, Kristin Armstrong, ex-wife of Lance, reveals ho
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE While Britain was focused on the race to redemption that Paula Radcliffe was undertaking in the New York City marathon yesterday after her double failure to take a medal in the Athens Olympics, some distance behind her another well-known name was reappearing in the limelight as Kristin Armstrong, ex-wife of Tour champion Lance, finished her second marathon in a personal best time of 3-45-53. In a pre-marathon interview with The New York Times, 33-year-old Armstrong revealed how she was persuaded to take on greater challenges with her running following her separation from her Tour-winning husband in September 2003. This initially led her to enter the White Rock Marathon in Dallas, and then onto yesterday's challenge in New York where Armstrong was running for Fertile Hope, a charity that helps cancer patients with infertility issues. The Armstrongs have three children, five-year-old Luke and three-year-old twins Isabelle and Grace. All three were born after in-vitro fertilisation treatment using sperm taken from the six-time Tour champion before he was underwent treatment for testicular cancer in 1997. "In my first marathon, I tried to be like Lance, who, as long as he's pushing himself as an athlete and going fast, doesn't have to deal with his emotions," said Armstrong, who finished that first marathon in a time of three hours 48 minutes despite a severe bout of cramp in her calves near the finish. "But I realised that I didn't need to run away from my despair or misery, that I could handle things. I realised that we were not alike in that way. "Now I've embraced my pain and realize it's OK to be sad. Now I can say, 'Lance has the life he wants, and that's his now.' Even though my life isn't the family life I had planned, I'm happy with it. For the kids, I have to be." Kristin Armstrong said the fact that her former husband is dating singer Sheryl Crow has made things easier for her to bear. "My priorities as a woman are my family and my kids, and if he was dating someone just like me, now that would be much tougher. But his new life has nothing to do with me. Being famous or hanging around with famous people, I don't think that ever did it for me." After a number of visits to the Tour in past years, Armstrong said that she did not see any of her ex-husband's record-breaking sixth victory this past summer. On hearing he had won, she thought: "Oh really? That's great." She continued: "I have to set an example now. I have daughters, and they're watching how I react to things. I want them to learn how to respect themselves and respect me as a woman. I want them to look back and say, 'My mom was a great mom, even through those hard times.'"

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