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'Marathon man' Boogerd

By Susan Westemeyer

Retired pro Michael Boogerd has changed his passion from cycling to running. "I am fanatical for running," he told the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. Boogerd is starting his running season with the City Pier City Loop, a half-marathon in Den Haag on March 15, to be followed by the Rotterdam marathon on April 13. His ultimate goal? "I want to run in the New York marathon this year."

He explained his new interest this way: "After my retirement as a cyclist, I needed a new goal. I mean, a cycling race isn't really a challenge for me any more, is it? For this reason, I am running. But I am not training as much as I did for cycling. It has to be fun."

Boogerd is following in the footsteps of other cyclists-turned-runners like Abraham Olano, Laurent Jalabert and Lance Armstrong. Does he think he can beat the seven-time Tour de France champion? "We will see, but I am not really aiming to become the best former cyclist. However, I know that Lance's fastest time in a marathon is about 2 hours and 47 minutes. As a matter of fact, he is not the fastest former cyclist in the marathon. That is Abraham Olano, with a time of 2.35. It will be hard to try and meet that time."

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