“The only bad race is one you don’t learn something from.”
Between 1982 and 1988, Mark Allen launched six attempts to claim the title of Ironman World Champion.
Each year he was squarely defeated by his arch rival, the legendary Dave Scott.
In 1989, the two titans of triathlon once again descended upon the white hot lava fields of Hawaii to reprise their annual duel in a spectacular showdown that would make history as the greatest race Ironman had ever seen. Dubbed The Iron War, Allen & Scott raced neck and neck at blistering speeds for 8 hours and would cross the finish line less than one minute apart — decimating the previous world record and redefining the limits of human endurance in the process.
When the dust settled, Mark Allen finally emerged victorious. And over the next several years the man they call The Grip would become arguably the most successful triathlete in the sport’s history with six Hawaii Ironman World Championship titles, 10 Nice International Triathlon titles and countless other victories across distances, terrains and fields of every variety.
So how did Mark Allen go from perennial also-ran to an athlete ESPN dubbed “The Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time”?
The answer might surprise you. Because it has nothing to do with fitness, nutrition or gear.
Instead, it has everything to do with spirituality.
Without a doubt, Mark’s embrace of shamanism unlocked hidden reservoirs of human potential. It’s a devotion that broke the glass ceiling on his mindset and plateaued career and ultimately propelled him to staggering heights of athletic success.
But how? And what does it all means to him now?
I needed to know. So I jumped in my truck, drove to his house Santa Cruz and put a microphone in front of him.
This conversation is the result. It’s a conversation about Mark’s remarkable life and his ongoing quest for expansion. It’s about the importance of aligning yourself with nature’s rhythms. It’s about investing in yourself, cultivating self-understanding and honing a positive mindset. And it’s about the crucial role humility — detaching from ego — plays in manifesting personal potential.
Bottom line? If you really want to soar, look within. Deep within.
It was an absolute honor to speak with Mark. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.
Peace + Plants,
Check out Julie’s updated website srimati.com
Thanks to this week’s sponsors:
AwayTravel.com: Luggage for the modern traveler—lightweight, premium features, and a lifetime warranty. For $20 off a suitcase, visit awaytravel.com/ROLL & use code “ROLL” during checkout.
- Mark’s books: Fit Soul, Fit Body* & The Art of Competition*
- Mark & Brant Secunda’s retreats: Fit Soul, Fit Body Seminars
- For personal coaching with Mark visit: markallencoaching.com
- Mark on Social: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
- Book: Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You* by Mark Allen & Brandt Secunda
- Book: The Art of Competition* by Mark Allen
- NYTimes: TRIATHLON: Huffing and Puffing, All The Way
- NYTimes: TRIATHLON: International Mettle Shown In Ironman
- YouTube: Ironman Moments: ’89 Scott & Allen
- Triathlete: Train The Mark Allen Way by Julia Polloreno
- Ironman: Iron War: A Reminiscence by Lee Gruenfeld
- MindBodyGreen: How A Shaman Helped An Ironman Athlete Become A Champion by Brant Secunda
- Active: Mark Allen’s 12 Best Strength Exercises
- Maffetone: Mark Allen Interview: A look back at working with Phil Maffetone and what it means for today’s triathlete
- JoeFriel: Mark Allen’s Training
- HuffPo: Articles by Mark Allen & Brandt Secunda
- Ironman: Heat Wave 101: Advice from Mark Allen by Mark Allen
- MensJournal: How to Get Ready for the World’s Highest Triathlon by Lauren Steele
- Ironman: A Day in the Life with Mark Allen by Don Norcross
- Outside: We Won’t Let Him Hurt You by Paul Keegan
- Bleacher Report: Winning The Iron War: Mark Allen Recounts by Mike Dojc
- Shamanism: Journey into Healing by Brant Secunda
- Shamanism: Journey to the Heart by Brant Secunda
- Book:The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People*by Dan Buettner
- YouTube: Post Race Interview with Mark Allen
- Inspiyr: What ESPN’s “Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time” Learned from a Shaman
- HuffPost: How to Gain Ironman-like Endurance by Brant Secunda & Mark Allen
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast
- Dave Scott: U.S. triathlete and the first six-time Ironman Triathlon Hawaii Champion
- Don José Matsuwa: Huichol Indian shaman-healer who lived to the age of 110
- Brant Secunda: shaman, author, healer and traditional ceremonial leader who completed a 12-year apprenticeship with Don José Matsuwa
- Scott Zagarino: a social entrepreneur with experience in leveraging technology for social good
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy
- RRP #24: Chris McCormack: Life As An Ironman World Champion
- RRP #145: The Spirit Of Timothy Shieff — Freerunning, The Practice Of Being & Living Transparently
- RRP #166: Iron Cowboy Did It! How James Lawrence Completed 50 Ironmans In 50 States In 50 Days
- RRP #37 : Hillary Biscay: 60 Ironmans And Counting
- RRP #46: 5-Time World Champion Terrenzo Bozzone On Training & Life
- RRP #52: Ronnie Shildknecht: Fastest Ironman On North American Soil
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