The 1989 Ironman® World Championship was the greatest race ever in endurance sports. In a spectacular duel that became known as the Iron War, the world’s two strongest athletes raced side by side at world-record pace for a grueling 139 miles.
Driven by one of the fiercest rivalries in triathlon, Dave Scott and Mark Allen raced shoulder to shoulder through Ironman’s 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race, and 26.2-mile marathon. After 8 punishing hours, both men would demolish the previous record—and cross the finish line a mere 58 seconds apart.
In his new book Iron War, sports journalist Matt Fitzgerald writes a riveting epic about how Allen and Scott drove themselves and each other through the most awe-inspiring race in sports history. Iron War goes beyond the pulse-pounding race story to offer a fascinating exploration of the lives of the world’s two toughest men and their unquenchable desire to succeed.
Weaving an examination of mental resolve into a gripping tale of athletic adventure, Iron War is a soaring narrative of two champions and the paths that led to their stunning final showdown.
Iron War (paperback)
Paperback with color photosections.
6″ x 9″, 320 pp., $18.95, 9781934030936
Read chapters from Iron War online on the VeloPress Triathlon History Page.
Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and the Greatest Race Ever Run
Paperback Color photo sections.
1 The Moment: Mark Allen and Dave Scott, Side by Side for 138 miles
2 A Drop Too Much: Dave Scott’s origin story
3 Get a Grip: How Mark Allen began racing
4 Pain Community: In endurance sports, misery loves company
5 You Again: The rivalry begins
6 Dig Me Beach: Kona Week and the final days before Iron War
7 Iron Will: How Mark Allen and Dave Scott trained to develop mental toughness
8 Shot out of a Cannon: Swim to T1
9 Burning Matches: The Bike
10 Vision Quest: The Marathon and Finish
11 Breaking Point: The Science of Mind over Matter
12 The Man’s Search for Meaning: Dave Scott in the years after Iron War
13 Shaman Surfer: Mark Allen’s rebirth
Iron War Timeline
About the Author
“Captivating, animated, uniquely readable and downright thrilling. [Iron War] is a truly great read—and an ode to our sport with all its quirky characters and epic venues…It is absolutely comparable to Krakauer, Bowden (Blackhawk Down), or Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm)… Iron War is what we buy books for: Excitement, entertainment, information and inspiration.” — TriSports.com
“A true page-turner about a too-little-known great moment in sports.” — Booklist (American Library Association)
“For any triathlete or endurance athlete, or anyone who wonders what it takes to be the best in sport, Iron War is an excellent read…Readers will come away with a very strong understanding and appreciation for two of the true legends of our sport…as well as a very clear look at the greatest race ever run.” — Triathlete.com
“Iron War really is a book that should be on your bookshelf if you have even the slightest interest in the sport of triathlon, but it also is a great read for anyone looking for inspiration in general.” — Slowtwitch.com
“Fitzgerald eases readers into the nuances of the sport, capturing imaginations with a satisfying study of two exceptional athletes and what makes them tick.” — ForeWord magazine
“Iron War is the very first time our sport has engaged in Krakauer-style journalism, where full-featured personalities are presented to readers without excuse, or pause, or an author’s self-censorship. Iron War is Fitzgerald’s Krakauer moment.” — Slowtwitch.com
“Iron War by Matt Fitzgerald recounts the fabled Ironman world championship battle between triathlete legends Dave Scott and Mark Allen. By the end of the story, [triathletes] will feel like [they] personally know the athletes, raced side-by-side with them, and understands the amazing contribution they made to the sport.” — Active.com
“In his new book Iron War, Fitzgerald recounts in gripping detail the showdown between Mark Allen and Dave Scott. Iron War delves into the vastly different personalities and psyches of these two iconic athletes and presents an anatomy of mental toughness that both men shared.” — Triathlete magazine
“In an exhaustively researched book, Fitzgerald recreates the famous race between Dave Scott and Mark Allen in the 1989 Ironman® World Championship….[Iron War] captures the strength of character of both athletes better than any other publication to date.” — Xtri.com
“The real gems of [Iron War]…are the robust descriptions of the race itself: the pain and suffering, the strategy, the story arc. The telling of this story gives insight into the race far beyond what we could see on the ABC special…or on YouTube today. It’s an insight that casual fans (and perhaps even athletes themselves) don’t often get. And for that reason alone, [Iron War] was one I could not put down.” — TriMadness