Through the Looking Glass: The Parallel Careers of Scott Jurek and Lance Armstrong

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.” —Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

With my recent re-kindling of my bike geekdom (during injury rehab), I was thinking about the 2009 Western States 100 this coming weekend on my way to a mountain bike race and how Lance and Scott are oddly similar, career-wise.

Scott Jurek is the obvious favorite at Western States (he’s dominated that race) and it’s his race to lose. In comparision, Scott has been coined at times “the Lance Armstrong of ultrarunning.” And, Lance has dominated the Tour and no matter how “over the hill” folks think he might be for the world’s biggest cycling event, he’s the man to beat come July. Now, I find the following facts interesting…

1) Scott Jurek won Western States 1999-2005 and chose to end with 7 wins…did not return until this year (2009).

2) Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France 1999-2005 and chose to end with 7 wins…AND, this is the year (2009) he has chosen to come back to the event he’s dominated.

A weird parallel? Will Scott’s performance at Western States be the foreshadowing of Lance’s performance at the Tour? Hmm. Are these athletes leading parallel lives? An interesting tidbit no less. What do y’all think?

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