The Ironman Triathlon held on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the most difficult one-day sporting event in the world. It starts with a 2.4-mile ocean swim, followed by 112 miles of cycling, and then finishes with a 26.2-mile marathon. For most of the 1500 men and women who compete in the Ironman crossing the finish line amounts to a victory.
Mark had a different destiny. His first six attempts, all losses, were casualties of everything from flat tires to internal bleeding. Yet each defeat served to galvanize his commitment to fulfilling his dream of becoming the Ironman Champion. Finally on his seventh attempt Mark won, beating Dave Scott in triathlon’s greatest race ever.
Allen went on to win a total of six Ironman titles in six attempts. His final victory came at the age of 37, making him the oldest champion ever in this incredibly challenging event! Mark completed a 15-year career in the world of elite athletics with a 90% top-three finish record, going undefeated in 20 races over a three year span from 1988-1990. He was named “Triathlete of the Year” six times, and after retiring in 1996 was called “The World’s Fittest Man” by Outside magazine.
Still living the principles that enabled him to turn adversity into success, Mark was recently awarded the highest ranking any speaker ever receives from Northwestern Financial Network for a keynote address he gave to their advisors. Mark works for NBC Sports as an expert analyst each year at the Ironman and provided commentary at the Sydney Olympics for triathlon’s debut at the Games.
Mark also authored the successful book on lifestyle fitness titled Workouts for Working People. His second project Fit Body, Fit Soul was coauthored with Brant Secunda and released in 2008.