COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced that the “Big Four” — the iconic powerhouses who dominated triathlon’s golden era of the 1980s and ‘90s — will reunite for a panel at the 2021 Endurance Exchange, a virtual triathlon industry conference set for Jan. 21-23. Mark Allen, Scott Molina, Dave Scott and Scott Tinley will reminisce about their famous battles, triumphs and adventures, all while candidly addressing never-before-asked questions about their time at the pinnacle of the sport. Perhaps more importantly, they will address the state of multisport in a pandemic world and the lessons gleaned from a combined 150 years of athlete experience.
During their heyday, the Big Four won a combined 15 IRONMAN World Championship titles; three IRONMAN World Series titles; every U.S. Triathlon Series (USTS) National Championship from 1982-1986; 10 Nice (France) International Championships; and two titles at the World’s Toughest Triathlon, which boasted one of the largest elevation gains in the sport.
Many of the most iconic moments in triathlon history involved a combination of the Big Four — from the unheralded battles between Molina and Tinley at cultural events such as the infamous Black Mountain 10K and the Bakersfield Tri and the meeting of all four at the inaugural USTS event in San Diego in 1982, to the legendary “Iron War” between Allen and Scott at the 1989 IRONMAN World Championship. All four are members of the USA Triathlon and IRONMAN Hall of Fame.
“Mark Allen, Scott Molina, Dave Scott and Scott Tinley shaped triathlon’s identity in countless ways — from showcasing what was possible at the highest levels of a burgeoning sport, to bringing that sport into the mainstream through thrilling moments that inspired fans and media alike,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “The reunion of the Big Four in a live, unfiltered conversation is a chance not only to reminisce about those glory days, but also to hear thoughts on triathlon’s future from the true legends of the sport.”
The Big Four panel is set for Thursday, Jan. 21, from 5-6:15 p.m. ET (3-4:15 p.m. MT). Registration is open now for Endurance Exchange, with multiple pricing and access tiers available starting as low as $50.
The Big Four were known for their versatility, producing world-class results in both IRONMAN races and shorter, faster Olympic-distance events. Allen, Molina, Scott and Tinley graced dozens of triathlon and endurance sports magazine covers during their peak and earned coverage in national publications such as Sports Illustrated and ESPN. Their popularity helped introduce the sport to a global audience, and in 1994 the International Olympic Committee voted for triathlon’s inclusion as a medal event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The inaugural Endurance Exchange conference was held in January 2020 in Tempe, Arizona, drawing more than 600 attendees including coaches, race directors, brands and retailers, triathlon clubs, media outlets and other members of the multisport industry. The 2021 edition will be held virtually to offer greater flexibility, reduce costs and eliminate the need to travel in order to attend. All content will be recorded, and attendees will be able to view sessions live or on-demand.
Dr. John Ratey Announced as Keynote
Bestselling author Dr. John Ratey, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and internationally recognized expert in Neuropsychiatry, will serve as a keynote speaker at Endurance Exchange. The keynote, titled “Exercise and the Brain: Empowering Healthy Bodies and Mind,” will take place Friday, Jan. 22, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. ET (8:30-9:30 a.m. MT).
Dr. Ratey has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and 12 books, including the groundbreaking ADD-ADHD “Driven to Distraction” series with Ned Hallowell, MD. With the publication of "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain," Dr. Ratey has established himself as one of the world's foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection. A recent book, “Go Wild,” explores how we can achieve optimal physical and mental health by getting in touch with our caveman roots, and how we can “re-wild” our lives.
In his presentation, Dr. Ratey will share the latest research on exercise and its effects on the brain and body, as well as implications that athletes, coaches and race directors can incorporate into their practices.
Olympic speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno will also present a keynote at Endurance Exchange, and additional keynotes will be announced in the coming weeks.
Notable Emcees Added
In addition to famed IRONMAN announcer Mike Reilly, who was announced as the conference’s lead emcee last month, Endurance Exchange continues to recruit some of the biggest personalities in multisport. Notable emcee additions include:
- Dr. Lawrence L. Creswell — Heart Surgeon, University of Mississippi
- Steve Fleck — Coach, PR Endurance Training; Leading Endurance Sports Announcer and Commentator
- Dr. Andrew R. Getzin — Clinical Director of Sports Medicine, Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca
- Michanda Myles — Creative Strategist, Entrepreneur and Endurance Sports Announcer
- Karen Smyers — IRONMAN Legend, Coach, Speaker and Cancer Survivor
- Col. Yvonne Spencer — Air Force Colonel, Founder of FastChix Triathlon Club
Reserve Your Spot
Registration for Endurance Exchange is currently $175 for General Attendee All-Access, $225 for Medical Professional All-Access and $50 for Athlete Insider Access. The Athlete Insider track includes all keynote presentations, general sessions, guided virtual morning workouts and the virtual expo, as well as select content focused on the inner workings of USA Triathlon and the age-group Team USA experience.
Endurance Exchange attendees have the option to purchase a discounted $35 USA Triathlon Annual Membership or renewal (extension of 12 months from current expiration date) as part of registration — a $15 discount from regular membership pricing.
USA Triathlon is also offering a limited number of Endurance Exchange scholarships to foster diversity and bring varied perspectives to the event. Interested candidates may apply at enduranceexchange.com. Priority will be given to people of racial and ethnic minorities, women, and those who may not otherwise be able to attend due to financial constraints.
More information about Endurance Exchange, including additional keynote speakers and emcees, general sessions and breakout content, will be released in the coming weeks and will be published at enduranceexchange.com as details are finalized. For sponsorship inquiries and other questions related to Endurance Exchange, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).