by Jo Baxas
Everyone in triathlon knows who Mark Allen is – he’s a legend that has inspired so many including our own Chris McCormack. His epic battle to win his first Kona against Dave Scott became known as the Iron War.
We met recently in Kona and Mark was kind enough to answer my question….
“If you were the CEO of WTC what would be the first thing you would do or change?”
Here’s Mark’s response:
“The first would be something that I would not change, and that would be to do whatever it took to ensure that the race could happen in Kona. Ironman was really made because of the immensity of doing it on the Big Island of Hawaii. Yes, it was born on Oahu, but it didn’t gain it’s true mystique until it was moved to Kona.
But what would I change?
I would go to the highest level events in a lot of other sports around the world to see what they were doing that created something that I truly remembered or was impressed by in each of those events. Then I’d try to figure out if there were any of those elements that could become part of the fabric of Ironman that would enhance the brand and the experience for not only the athletes, but the sponsors, volunteers and media. It would have to be looked at carefully to make sure that whatever those elements were did not distract from the uniqueness of what Ironman is.
It’s just like how I approached my career as a triathlete. I looked at what the best in swimming, cycling and running were doing to become the best in those sports. Then I took what made sense to integrate into my preparation as a triathlete, modified it as needed and then built in my own uniqueness as a who I was. Then end result was pretty good!
That’s what I would do as CEO of Ironman. Take the best facets from other sporting events and organizations, modify as needed to be appropriate for triathlons, then wrap it all with the Ironman uniqueness to hopefully create something that would be the standard for all other sporting events to follow!”