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Countdown To Kona: Lord Of The Lava (1987)

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With the Ironman World Championship set to take place 22 days from today, we take a look at back at each race from the past three decades. Today, we go back to 1987 . 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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Ironman Commandment Number One: Thou shalt never take thine eyes off the road.

It was mere seconds since the end of the swim. Dave Scott was looking down, trying to get the bike shoe on his right foot to stay on the pedal. Mark Allen, his main competition at the 1987 Ironman, was immediately to his right, and he was trying to do the same thing. Suddenly the two of them inched towards each other in a slow motion bicycle ballet. They smashed shoulders, Allen careening wildly towards the snow fencing almost going down. He looked up quickly after the sudden collision with a what-the-heck-are-you-doing look on his face. Scott never looked up. He simply kept tugging at this shoe until it was locked down tight, then he was gone. The 112-mile bike race was all of 10 seconds old.

Obviously, Allen was keying on Scott. He stayed inches from the heels of the five-time Ironman Champ throughout the 2.4-mile swim. After their first but not last arm bumping of the day, Allen hurriedly joined the lead pack hammering out on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway. After 40 miles of riding, the pack consisted of Keith Anderson from South Affrica followed by Scott, Allen, Mike Pigg and Kenny Glah. Scott Tinley and Tom Gallagher were back a good two-minutes.

To see the complete Countdown To Kona series click here.