"I do not use the terms pain and torment" | TIME ONLINE

Californian Dave Scott, 64, is one of the pioneers of triathlon and one of the most successful athletes in the short history of the sport. Scott won the Ironman Hawaii, which will be held for the 40th time on Saturday, six times between 1980 and 1987. In 1989, he delivered a legendary head-to-head duel with Mark Allen, during which the two ran shoulder to shoulder for eight hours. Only in the last two kilometers Allen decided the race, which has entered the history of the sport as Ironwar, for themselves. It was a change of guard, Allen won six times in the following years Hawaii. Scott finished second in 1994 at the age of 40, and fifth in 1996, two years later, in 1996.
            ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Scott, when was the last time you completed an Ironman?
            Dave Scott: The last one people really know was Hawaii in 1996, when I finished fifth. But I also tried again in 2001 to make a comeback, since I was 47 years old. I had felt great in the months before. But I immediately felt on the bike that I have no strength and had to give up after 80 kilometers.
            ZEIT ONLINE: You had seriously believed, with 47 again to be able to get involved in the front?
            Scott: Well, I finished fifth, so why not? I felt that my race in 1996, at 42, was the best in my career. I climbed off the bike in 26th and advanced to fifth place.
            ZEIT ONLINE: After 2001, but you had finally enough.
            Scott: I overestimated myself in 2001. I had fooled myself into believing I could win Hawaii with almost 50 again. But it still did not let me go. In 2009 I wanted to know it again.
            ZEIT ONLINE: At the age of 55?
            Scott: Yeah, I did not think I could win again, but I thought I could get along and maybe annoy the top pros a bit. But then I was hit by a car in training. In doing so, I smashed my wrist, broke my shoulder blade, and got a cardiac embossment. That finally put an end to the whole story.
            ZEIT ONLINE: Have you recovered from it health?
            Scott: No, my shoulder never recovered and neither did my heart. Since then I have cardiac arrhythmia. In sports, when I cross a certain limit, I get heartbeats.
            ZEIT ONLINE: How is this as a former iron man, as one of the best of times in one of the hardest sports, suddenly being so hurt?
            Scott: Of course that's not easy. I've always thought that I'm somehow unconquerable. This feeling is gone now. I still train every day. I still feel the urge to go to my limits, but whenever that comes over me, I have to restrain myself and admit that this is no longer possible. This is not easy. I have a little feeling that my heart has failed me. I'm still the same competitor I've always been. To be honest, I'm really struggling with that. It makes me angry sometimes. It's hard for me to accept that I'm no longer the tough dog I've been all my life.
            ZEIT ONLINE: The Ironman demands so much that many athletes burned out mentally after a certain number of racing years. They just do not have the strength to go to their limits. You never felt this fatigue?
            Scott: No, on the contrary. I can not get enough of this feeling that you have when you're completely exhausted. I miss it immensely. This mental hardness was certainly one of my biggest advantages. I've always known that once I'm on the track, I can outgrow myself. There was never any doubt. If my heart would allow me, I would be on the starting line on Saturday and would be none other than 35 years ago.
            ZEIT ONLINE: The pain and the agony of the race have never scared you?
            Scott: You're talking about pain and agony. I do not use those terms. I'm more likely to talk about different degrees of discomfort. If you get to a point in the race where you really torture yourself, then you have a problem. Then maybe you have to switch back half a percent and return to the area of ​​discomfort.
            ZEIT ONLINE: You have never tormented yourself in all these years in Hawaii?
            Scott: No, never. Do not get me wrong, I've felt very uncomfortable in the race for a very long time. But I never had the feeling that I could not stand it.

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