As he did so masterfully in his New York Times bestseller, 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 seventeen hours.
Steinberg focuses not on the professionals 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 on 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..
I just completed my first marathon and have been thinking about entering the world of triathlons. This big goal of mine is the Ironman despite the fact I don’t currently own a bike and can barely swim. I have started to read up on the sport and while at my library I came across this book.
This book was just what I needed. It follows the journey of six normal people who all have obstacles and challenges of their own. Through reading their journey of committing to the race, training, and finally getting to race day, the reader is able to catch a glimpse into the busy lives of those who train. I walked away from the book with a sense of appreciation for families, loved ones, and the dedication of the human spirit when pushed to the limits.
I really found this to be the perfect read at the perfect time. As I contemplate this sport I need reminders that when you believe in yourself anything is possible. These are all amazing people in this book. However, at the end of the day they are regular people with regular lives of jobs, marriage, kids, and all the chaos that life brings us.