News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

May 20, 2006

Given to Fly: Six-time world champ offers tips

TERRE HAUTE — Dave Scott was in the prime of his first-class career as a triathlete during the 1980s, racking up six world championships from 1980 to 1987.

Since fighting through knee surgery, the now 52-year-old Scott is still giving back to the sport that he helped make famous. He and Mark Allen are the only two men to win six world titles since the competition began in 1978.

Scott’s career was strong into his 40s, taking second to Greg Welch as a 40-year-old in 1994 and finishing fifth in the 1996 Ironman at age 42.

“Then I got really old,” Scott joked.

Scott is now one of the most respected coaches in the sport. Simon Lessing, of the United Kingdom, moved to Scott’s hometown of Boulder, Colo., to receive Scott’s guidance. Scott also coaches professional Michael Lovato of Colorado and he trains a “handful” of other triathletes.

“I like helping regular old folk,” Scott said. “A lot of them are my friends so it makes it fun. Most amateurs have a better work ethic. They’re just not as genetically gifted.”

As a precursor to today’s 21st annual Terre Haute Triathlon, Scott delivered a swimming clinic to 39 of today’s participants at Hawthorn Park and a training clinic at Rose-Hulman’s Student Recreation Center. Triathlon director Paul Asay said he has 355 athletes registered for today’s race, which begins at 8 a.m. with the swim at Hawthorn Park.

“It’s the biggest field we’ve had,” Asay said.

Still in good shape, Scott looks forward to today’s race. He hopes the advice he offered Friday can help those have success. Scott said newcomers especially shouldn’t measure success by how they do against their competitors. While Scott said triathlon is a growing sport, “There’s also a lot of people that quit this sport.

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