There is no sacrifice in pursuits of the heart.  ”
~  Mark Allen

i am mark allen

“I began a career as a professional triathlete in 1982. Back then doing a triathlon was a big adventure. There were no books, no videos, no coaches. But there were races, some even had prize money. The challenge was how to go faster. One month we might think the key was mileage, so we’d crank out ridiculous totals week after week. Swim 30,000 yards in seven days? Of course! Pile on 500 miles cycling and another 70 running in that same time? Why not! Was that enough? Was it too much? It was all a guess. As soon as one person tried something different and did better than before in even a single race, we’d all follow the “new” approach.”

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MY IRONMAN RACES

"Six Times Getting My Education. Six Times Putting It To Use."

  • IRONMAN | 1982
    February 6, 1982

    October 1982 was my first Ironman. It was a race I was going to do once, then get serious about my life! I had a secret goal that I told no one about, and that was to finish in the top 100. Unfortunately the Ironman had a different plan, one that was more nightmare than dream...

  • IRONMAN | 1983
    October 22, 1983

    Dave Scott was on a roll. I was trying to get on one. We matched up at the season opener, a half Ironman in Panama City, Florida. I was hoping to make a bold statement in response to his dominance the previous year...

  • IRONMAN | 1984
    October 6, 1984

    How many years should you work toward a goal before you really go for it and put it all on the line to see if this moment is your date with destiny? Life rarely sends clear signals in answer to that. For me, this was the year I was going to find out...

  • IRONMAN | 1985
    October 25, 1985

    This was an unusual year at the Ironman, at least in the professional field. There had been another race gaining significance on the world stage, the Nice International Triathlon, and they had something that Hawaii did not…prize money. So the pros decided to do something never before seen...

  • IRONMAN | 1986
    October 18, 1986

    I’ve raced in Kona three times. None have resulted in victory. My last finish two years earlier was devastating. My efforts started to focus on other races, most notably the Nice International Triathlon, which in 1986 took place only two weeks before the Ironman. I was going to just go watch the race in Hawaii while I recovered from what became my fifth title in Nice, but then something changed...

  • IRONMAN | 1987
    October 10, 1987

    Any big goal requires a significant and equally big amount of work. Winning Ironman is no exception to that tenant. In 1987 I made a strategic commitment to log more training miles than just about everyone, including my biggest nemesis Dave Scott. And I felt I could do that because I had a secret weapon...

  • IRONMAN | 1988
    October 10, 1988

    Disappointment from my previous five Hawaiian Ironman races was blocking me from making the changes I needed to put in place if I was to have any chance of winning. I was relying on hope to be the secret sauce that would carry me to victory in 1988. And that one ingredient skyrocketed two days before that year’s event with some unexpected news from Dave Scott...

  • IRONMAN | 1989
    October 10, 1989

    My family and friends, the people I relied on most to tell me the things I was unwilling to see about myself, were all saying Ironman was not for me. “Go to the races where you have shown you can do well”. I was so very close to agreeing, but there was one compelling reason I had to go back to Kona...

  • IRONMAN | 1990
    October 10, 1990

    Momentum seemed to finally be on my side. Life has a way of granting those periods of grace where all efforts lead to gold. I’d won every race I entered since late 1988. But Ironman is a different beast altogether and it still had a question mark looming large over it...

  • IRONMAN | 1991
    October 10, 1991

    How perfect do things have to go before all the imperfections outweigh the bits that need to go right and the eventual outcome is far less than you had hoped for? I began peeling away the layers to that question in 1991...

  • IRONMAN | 1992
    October 10, 1992

    In late March of 1992 I embarked on a solo Ironman-focused training ride: flat and hopefully fast. I was not into it. I went through an intersection. My mind was wandering. A truck accelerated and turned right into me. It smashed my body and my bike. I flew through the air then crumpled to the ground.

  • IRONMAN | 1993
    October 10, 1993

    Going into this year’s Ironman I was sitting at four World Championship titles. Each of those was earned against a different competitor who pushed me beyond limits I never thought I could surpass. This year would be no exception...

  • IRONMAN | 1994
    October 10, 1994

    Sometimes the greatest clarity comes to me when I step back and can view my world from a distance. In 1994 I did not race in Kona. I was there to watch for the first time. What I saw shocked me...

  • IRONMAN | 1995
    October 10, 1995

    This was it! My final Ironman. There had never been a decision I had made that I was more sure of. But with that finality came risk. If the day went south, there would be no redemption, and with an unusually depleted physical state that summer, there looked to be very little chance of the race going anything like I was hoping for...