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This captivating book combines timeless quotes forged through the intensity of Ironman racing with enduring photos from nature.

Consider the Essence of Competition in a Whole New Way

Sun Tzu is credited for writing the Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise dating back to the sixth century BC. 

In 1989 I won the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii in a race that the news media called “Iron War”, but I don’t think of competition as war. For me the highest level of athletic performance can truly be called art. I want to share this way of experiencing competition with you through my new book The Art of Competition.

Through stunning photography, and thought-provoking quotes and essays, The Art of Competition brings my philosophy of competition to life. But I can’t bring The Art of Competition to life without your backing.

DESIRE AND LETTING GO...TWO PARADOXICALLY ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR VICTORY.

Project Description:

The Art of Competition is a book I’ve been working on for quite some time. In a nutshell, it is a compilation of quotes and essays about competing that can apply to sports or any other challenge in life; it goes far beyond simply achieving good race results, high point totals, championship finishes or sales of the month awards. The thought-provoking quotes that I wrote for this book are meant to turn performance in any arena that is challenging –and has a potential for failure – into something enduring, inspiring and meaningful for you, and for those who witness that performance. 

The Art of Competition will be comprised of ninety quotes that are displayed in two-page spreads with incredible images from nature shot by Nick Borelli. In addition, five chapters of text will elaborate on the key themes that are vital to the process of turning competition into art – themes like Change, Fear and Being Stuck. And, of course there will be a chapter devoted specifically to my journey of transforming the race at the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii from Competition into Art.

A CHAMPION EXPLOITS EVERY DETAIL WITHOUT EVER FORGETTING THE BASICS.

The quotes in The Art of Competition started coming to me while I was on a retreat in Japan with my spiritual teacher Brant Secunda, nearly ten years after I had retired from competition and Ironman racing. I had tried for years to explain to others the mindset that opened the possibility of victory at the races that counted most to me. But until this pivotal trip with Brant, the exact words eluded me. "I went hard and stayed calm" just didn't cut it. Then, all of a sudden the words began to flow. In the span of two days I had written down close to fifty short quotes that encapsulated the mindset of a champion – thoughts that formed the backbone of The Art of Competition. Each quote can be digested slowly over time to help bring your personal perfection out in the moments that count most.

It would take another five years before I was hit with the inspiration of how to present these thoughts to the world. On that retreat in Japan, and in his teachings around the world, Brant emphasizes the importance of connecting to nature as a way to empower your life for the events that have meaning to you. It finally dawned on me. I would pair each quote with a beautiful image from the natural world; I would use Nick Borelli’s art to help transform simple phrases into compelling ideas that inspire and tap strengths you never thought you had, to help create a performance that stirs inspiration in those who witness your efforts.

GREATNESS BEGINS ONCE THE BATTLE IS DONE.

I certainly don’t want it to take another five years before I can share The Art of Competition with you. That’s why I’ve turned to Kickstarter for the financial boost this book needs to become a reality. 

As soon as this Kickstarter campaign meets its goal, I plan to produce two editions of The Art of Competition. One will be a very high quality limited edition printing of six hundred books, each one numbered and signed. Included in this edition will be a bonus section where I will elaborate on twenty-five of the key quotes. These essays will only be available in print form in the limited edition compilation, which will initially be restricted to supporters of this Kickstarter campaign. There will also be an unlimited hard cover printing without the essays. Both versions of the book will be 10"x10", perfect for coffee table display. 

YOU ARE HALF WAY THERE WHEN THE JOURNEY IS NINETY PERCENT COMPLETE.

The Art of Competition is inspirational, transformational and a work of art in its own right. You don't have to be an athlete to understand and gain from its insights and stories or appreciate the stunning photography. We are all on journeys that have meaning to us. The Art of Competition can help infuse your quest with that little something extra that will make it fulfilling and deep regardless of its eventual outcome.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I cannot publish The Art of Competition without your support.

I have written the words. Nick Borelli has provided the images from nature that help bring each quote to life. Mats Allen and Nico Secunda have added their photographic interpretations of the world of nature for the bonus section essays. Jeff Keil has designed the book’s captivating layout. And the folks at Small Press United are ready to take it into their book distribution network.

Bottom line: all systems are “go,” pending successful completion of this Kickstarter campaign.

Now it's up to you! If this project is funded, 600 Limited Edition copies of The Art of Competition will be printed and 3,000 copies of the regular edition; additional lots of 1,000 books will be printed based on the final level of support provided by this campaign.

The Art of Competition is timeless in its content, but its publication certainly has an ideal timeframe for release. That time is just after the first of the year, when people are starting to set their intentions and their course of action for their goals in the New Year. To meet the ideal timeframe for release, this Kickstarter campaign must be fully funded by October 31, 2013. This should ensure distribution in time for everyone wanting to kick-start their 2014 life campaign with some added inspiration.

Fundraising aside, potential challenges for this project include delays in printing, shipping from Singapore, and distribution to book stores. Similar delays could occur in the production and distribution of the many Kickstarter rewards being offered.

The good news: The Art of Competition and related print pieces are ready to go to press right now. The sooner this campaign meets its $35,000 goal, the sooner the production can begin.

One other big challenge for The Art of Competition has to do with sell-through of all the books that are printed. I’ve already mentioned the distribution help I’ll be getting from the folks at Small Press United. Books will also be sold online at www.Art-of-Competition.com, and through other online and direct sales channels.

Just as I’ve planned a major publicity campaign to coincide with this Kickstarter campaign, I’ve also planned a major publicity campaign for early 2014. My contacts in the sports world, particularly in endurance sports including triathlon, running and cycling, remain strong even after being retired from competition for nearly twenty years. And, since that time, I’ve built a motivational speaking and lecturing career that offers ongoing opportunities to share this book and its insights with a wide variety of audiences.

I can't wait to take this project to the next step! I just received a PDF near-final version from the designer and it is remarkable. When you receive your copy, I know you will agree. Thanks so much for your support.

Mark Allen
6-Time Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Champion

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    14 backers

    5"X10" ART OF COMPETITION KICKSTARTER PRINT: This Art of Competition quote with photo print will only be available to those who pledge to support this campaign. It will be unique to this campaign and different from any in the book or in the other two sized prints available in this campaign.

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    140 backers

    THE ART OF COMPETITION FIRST PRINTING: Be among the first to receive a signed hard cover book -- hot off the press -- to help kick start your upcoming goals and dreams. You will also receive an Art of Competition bumper sticker.

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    6 backers

    THE ART OF COMPETITION GIFT CERTIFICATE: The books will be printed and ready by mid-February, but you can give a gift certificate for a book to family and friends now. Then once the books arrive hot off the press they will receive their copy of The Art of Competition.

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    20 backers

    THE ART OF COMPETITION BONUS: All pledges at this level receive a signed hard cover book, PLUS the 5"x10" Art of Competition print only available through this campaign, PLUS an Art of Competition coffee mug. PLUS an Art of Competition bumper sticker.

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    3 backers Limited (47 left of 50)

    THE ART OF COMPETITION LIMITED EDITION GIFT CERTIFICATE: All books will be available by mid-February, but you can give a gift certificate for a book to family and friends now. Since this is a gift certificate for the Limited Edition there is only a very small quantity available!

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    105 backers Limited (195 left of 300)

    THE ART OF COMPETITION LIMITED EDITION: Only 600 copies of the Limited Edition will be printed in English. It will truly be a collector's piece. This high quality printing will be signed, numbered, and will include a bonus section with twenty-four additional quotes from the main body of the book that I have given my interpretation to. Pledges at this level will receive a personalized Limited Edition book, PLUS an Art of Competition coffee mug, PLUS andArt of Competition bumper sticker. Sit back relax and enjoy the reading!

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    2 backers

    YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE FROM THE BOOK PRINTED ON 10"X20"ACRYLIC: There will likely be at least one quote that stands out as THE quote of the book for you. With this reward level you can choose that quote and we will have it printed on high quality acrylic format in real size 10"x20" book format layout. You would have up to one year after this Kickstarter campaign ends to let us know which quote that is for you and we will get it printed and out for your home or office. We may sell prints of quotes at a later date publicly, but not at this price! Only through Kickstarter can you guarantee this offer.

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    7 backers Limited (93 left of 100)

    THE ART OF COMPETITION LIMITED EDITION AND 10"x20" PRINT: Now it's getting extra special! Receive a personalized Limited Edition of The Art of Competition, PLUS a 10"x20" quote and photo printed on acrylic that is different than any in the book and only available to those who pledge at this level. This quote/photo combo is also different from the other two sizes available in this campaign. In addition you will receive an Art of Competition coffee mug and bumper sticker.

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    20 backers Limited (30 left of 50)

    THE ART OF COMPETITION LIMITED EDITION AND 15"X30" FRAMED PRINT: This is it! You will receive a personalized Limited Edition of The Art of Competition, PLUS a framed high quality15"x30" print of a quote and photo only available to those who pledge at this level. This photo and quote are not available in the book and are unique to the 15"x30" print. Beautifully framed, the impact of this print will be stunning. You will also receive an Art of Competition mug and bumper sticker.

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Funding period

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