Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2012.
On October 14, 1989, driven by one of the most intense and lasting two-man rivalries in any sport, a pair of generational talents at the height of their powers ran a race that redefined human limits.
The battle between Dave Scott and Mark Allen at the 13th Hawaii Ironman stands as one of the most dramatic stories in the history of athletics. The two greatest athletes of triathlon’s pioneering generation raced side by side, literally, for eight straight hours at breakneck speed before Allen finally tore away from his longtime nemesis with less than two miles left in the 140.6-mile event. His margin of victory was a scant 58 seconds. So intense was the drama, the race came to be known as ‘Iron War’ – the single most awe-inspiring sporting event ever witnessed.
More than a compelling story, Iron War is a fascinating exploration of how Scott and Allen pushed themselves and each other – and what it takes for anyone to break through perceived limits. Much as Christopher McDougall added depth to Born to Run by tying in new research on the evolutionary origins of humans as runners, Iron War shows how new discoveries in neuroscience explain how some elite athletes are able to literally will their bodies to do things that should be beyond their capacities. The book weaves an examination of the anatomy of mental toughness into a gripping tale of athletic adventure. With its emotional and intellectual depth, Iron War is a captivating and thought-provoking portrait of the human will.