Sunday, October 14, 2012

Read about the Ironman Greats

Yesterday was the 34th Hawaii Ironman World Championships. While I don't follow the sport of triathlon as intimately as I did in the 1980's and 1990's, I always follow what happens at the big race in Hawaii each year. Yesterday's race was won by Australian Pete Jacobs and Leandra Cave from England. Along with the racing, I notice that two recent books by Ironman greats have their Kindle prices temporarily reduced to $2.99 each. A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey by four time champion Chrissie Wellington and I'm Here To Win: A World Champion's Advice for Peak Performance by two time champion Chris McCormack look like good reads so I have purchased both copies at this price and look forward to reading them.

The sport has come a long way since its early roots and I am more familiar with the triathlon greats of the 1980s then the names and careers of the current stars. If you really want to read about the greatest Ironman race of them all, make sure to read Iron War about the Dave Scott-Mark Allen 1989 dual.

If you want to read some interesting and entertaining tidbits about the first Ironman Triathlon held on Kona, rather than the first few races on Oahu, then read Mark Montgomery's training and racing experience from the 1981 race. You will be entertained and maybe astounded about how little was known  about training and racing the Ironman distance in those days. I can confirm how little information was out there as I did my first Ironman distance race in 1983 and I had no clue (yet 1983 was light years ahead of what was known in 1981). What the current crop of triathletes are missing is the total wide-eyed innocence of racing in those days, and how much fun we had making it up as we went along. Here is where you can read Monty's accounts.

Ironman History Lesson that First Year (Slowtwitch forum)
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

The interesting thing for me is of all the many names mentioned in Monty's posts about 1981, I recall each and every one except for one name that doesn't ring a bell. I look at the top ten lists of this years winners in Kona and some names are unfamiliar to me.

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