We are ringing in our second edition of the IRONMANIA WEEK’S Greatest Rivalries! To celebrate the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii on October 10th, we are posting all things Ironman for the entire duration of this week.
Without further ado, we are would like to celebrate the Iron War of 1989 between Dave Scott and Mark Allen.
After having won 6 Ironman Kona Championships, Dave Scott clearly had the recipe for success on the big Island. While Mark Allen seemed to be able to beat him at all others races, Dave owned Kona and it wasn’t until 1989 that Mark would finally beat Dave and start his string of 6 Ironman Hawaii wins as well. You might as well say there wasn’t a third place athlete in the 1989 Hawaii Ironman, because Dave and Mark beat third place Greg Welch by nearly 20 minutes to form their own Iron War. From the cannon at the start of the day, Mark Allen decided to swim on Dave’s feet and never leave him. They excited the water in the lead and then started their 112 mile bike ride rarely more then a few seconds apart. Mark made up his mind to let Dave set the pace and his job was to simply ensure Dave didn’t get away. Off the bike the two American’s started their epic 26 mile battle. Along Ali Drive in the first 10 miles they were side by side. Up Pay & Save Steep Hill they ran only a few meters apart and all the way into the Energy Lab out on the Queen-K-Highway the two greatest men to ever do the race could hear each other breathe.
Dave Scott was a more muscular man and decided in his mind at mile 24 he was going to use the downhill section of the marathon course to push the pace and let his stronger legs take the punishment to get away. Mark Allen on the other hand, didn’t want to leave it to the hill, knowing Dave’s strength and made up his mind that he was going to push the pace going up the hill just before 24 miles and see if he could break Dave. With a flotitla of thousands of motorcycles, and bicyclists and helicopter sand TV crews near them, Mark Allen passed up going to the water station just before mile 24 and put a 30m gap into Dave. The gap was never reduced and Mark Allen finally beat Dave in one of the most epic battles in Kona history to win the 1989 Hawaii Ironman for the first time and set a run record of 2hrs 40 minutes that still stands today. Mark and Dave took the previous record of 8hrs 26 minutes and pushed it down to 8hrs 09 minutes in one of the greatest two man battles ever.
Check back in with us tomorrow for more Ironman stories by Barrie Shepley!