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Countdown To Kona: High-Tech Tinley (1985)

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With the Ironman World Championship set to take place 24 days from today, we take a look at back at each race from the past three decades. Today, we go back to 1985 and the year Scott Tinley introduced the aerodynamic craze. All of the following photos and text are taken from the book, “30 Years of The Ironman Triathlon World Championship” by Bob Babbitt.

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Scott Tinley had to be concerned. The race he was pointing for, the one he really wanted, was quickly slipping away. He came out of the ocean in 18th place, four minutes behind leader Chris Hinshaw. But he figured on being about five minutes behind at that point, so that was okay. What he hadn’t planned on was Hinshaw pulling away form him on the bike.  And Hinshaw was definitely pulling away – his four-minute lead had expanded to a full nine minutes by the time he hit the turnaround at the tiny tropical village of Hawi.

“The only way I could beat Tinley was to break him down mentally,” says Hinshaw “Otherwise, he’s just too tough. On a good day here I might run a 3:15 marathon. But on a bad day Tinley will run 3:03. I had to have a big enough lead after the bike so it didn’t matter what I ran. After turnaround life looked good.”

Same for Julie Moss who had four minutes on Joanne Ernst at Hawi. But for both Moss and Hinshaw the clock started going the other way on the trip to Kailua Kona. Tinley, decked out ot the gills in aerodynamic duds, moved to within two minutes of Hinshaw by the time he reached the Kona Surf and had the lead – and the race – wrapped up by the two-mile mark of the run.

To see the complete Countdown To Kona series click here.