You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Triathlon (Unabridged)
by Jacques Steinberg
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As he did so masterfully in his New York Times best seller The Gatekeepers, Jacques Steinberg creates a compelling portrait of people obsessed with reaching a life-defining goal. In this instance, the target is an Ironman triathlon---a 2.4-mile open-water swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride, then finally a 26-mile marathon run, all of which must be completed in no more than 17 hours. Steinberg focuses not on the professional who live off the prize money and sponsorships, but on a handful of triathletes who regard the sport as a hobby. Vividly capturing the grueling preparation, the suspense of completing each event of the triathlon, and the spectacular feats of human endurance, Steinberg plumbs the physical and emotional toll as well as the psychological payoff of the participants of the Ford Ironman Arizona 2009. His You Are an Ironman is both a riveting sports narrative and a fascinating, behind-the-scenes study of what makes these athletes keep going.
Decent from a human interest perspective. Probably will be effective in inspiring new prospective ironman contenders. Not too insightful if you've already been bitten by the bug.
Also to the narrator: it is triathlon, not triathalon!
good for the enthusiast
If you are a triathlete junkie and enjoy reading others' workout reports and race reports, this is a good collaboration of just that. The book overall is disappointing in that the author starts out so promising. He is descriptive and engaging, and too soon, the book turns into a reiteration of other athlete's blogs. If the contenders in this book did not keep blogs, the book would be about 10 pages long. I really hoped for analysis and research into the people that were featured. What made them tick and what sports specialists and sports medical experts had to say about the sport and competitors, but after a quick background on each participant, the author just, VERBATIM, reprinted their blog updates.
I did not mind this because I enjoy reading other people's accounts of their training and competing, but I don't think piling them all into back to back pages makes a great book.
If you are looking for a How to book this book isn't for you. I enjoyed the Audio book because as an ultra athlete I wanted to know more about the personal side of the Ironman races. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to complete in an event this hard. The stories of the "Weekend" Warriors were motivational.