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Six-time Ironman world champion Mark Allen has successfully launched a campaign on Kickstarter.com to raise the funds to publish his new book, titled The Art of Competition. The book, which required a pledge goal of $35,000, is currently up to more than $42,000 on Kickstarter and will be funded on Nov. 1. The book is scheduled to be released in February 2014.
The book will be a combination of photos of nature and thought-provoking quotes and essays, Allen says. “I don’t think of competition as war. For me, the highest level of athletic performance can truly be called art,” he writes. The book will “bring my philosophy of competition to life,” he says.
Allen, who’s known for his study of shamanism with shaman Brant Secunda, said in an interview on Competitor Radio, that most of the quotes came to him while in Japan on a retreat with Secunda. “We were at Mount Fuji,” Allen recounts, “and I was taking a nap on the futon in this little family-run place, and this quote came to me, and I thought, wow that’s kind of cool. Then another one and another one, and I thought, ‘Wow. I better write these things down.’ So after a day and a half, I had about 50 quotes written down, and it took me about five years to figure out what I was going to do with them. And finally the idea came—put them with photos from nature, because you love nature, you love training on the trails in Colorado, you loved riding by the ocean in San Diego when you were training there, you love surfing.”
He ended up partnering with local Santa Cruz, Calif., photographer Nick Borelli for the photography. The backbone of the book will be 90 quotes displayed in two-page spreads over photographs. Examples of quotes are “A champion exploits every detail without ever forgetting the basics” and “You are halfway there when the journey is 90 percent complete.” The book also contains five chapters “about things that all of us have to deal with when we’re pursuing personal excellence—topics like change, fear,” he says. “The final chapter is called ‘Art,’ and in there I highlight my bookend Ironman victories—’89 and’95—and I really think it’s the best telling of those two stories that I’ve ever given.”
There will be 3,000 copies printed—hardcover, 10”x10”, designed for a coffee table. In addition, there will be 600 limited edition printings, signed and numbered, that have a bonus section with expanded thoughts on the meaning of 24 of the quotes. Also in the bonus section are additional photos from Allen, his son Mats Allen, and Secunda’s son Nico Secunda.