From the Publisher
“For anyone who dreams of doing a triathlon or needs to find motivation, You Are An Ironman, is a Fantastic Read! Steinberg follows six ordinary athletes on their individual odysseys, he illuminates their courage and commitment and inspires readers to boldly pursue their dreams.” — Lynn Cox
"The athletes are fascinating in their own right, which helps to create an instant bond with readers and should make the book a compelling and inspirational read for obsessive exercisers and couch potatoes alike." — The Associated Press
"... a great new book that any first time Ironman entrant should read." — Active.com
“…an engrossing story of pain and perseverance….compelling…”
— Publishers Weekly
“Anyone dreaming of completing a triathlon or just seeking to get off the couch and into better shape will find inspiration here.”
“Steinberg breaks the mold….A great read for anyone thinking about getting off their couch and doing something extraordinary that will truly change the rest of their lives.”
"Best-selling author Jacques Steinberg might not have an Ironman finish under his belt, but he certainly deserves an honorary finish certificate for his excellent portrayal of our sport. With an outsider's view of multi-sport training and racing, the trained eye and ear of a New York Times reporter and a captivating writing style, Steinberg has managed to describe the world of Ironman in a book that reads like a suspense novel while also capturing the inspiration and emotion of our sport." — Ironman.com
“Steinberg keeps up his pace the whole distance and saves the best for a power surge to the climax. You Are An Ironman could be the Rocky of triathletics.”
“Steinberg is a master storyteller using his skill to narrate their stories in what reads like an epic novel—except they are true….His way of adding suspense to the story is so subtle is [sic] sneaks up on you….Whether you are an aspiring Ironman athlete yourself or not you should read this book. Between the expertly delivered story and the authentic portrayal of the people and their training there is much you can learn form their life-affirming journey while being entertained from cover to cover.”
“[A] great book to read…”
“[R]eaders will surely want to carry on and experience the excitement that leads to the finish line in Tempe, Ariz., [sic] where the race announcer proclaims to each entrant who comes across that ‘you are an Ironman.’”
— Winston-Salem Journal
New York Timesreporter Steinberg (The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College, 2002) tells the stories of six ordinary people's attempts to complete an Ironman triathlon.
For most people, the idea of the triathlon—a 2.4-mile open-water swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride and a 26-mile run—probably seems insane. For others, doing all three of those things within a 17-hour span is a challenge to be met. In his second book, which takes its title from the finish-line greeting given to those who succeed, Steinberg attempts to show the day-to-day struggles of several individuals trying to achieve this goal by completing the Ironman Arizona 2009 race. In addition to the strenuous requirements of the race, several of the subjects faced additional challenges, including high blood pressure, recovery from cancer and, most incredibly, a double lung transplant due to cystic fibrosis. The altruism of the participants is of particular note. Many are conflicted about the selfish nature of their pursuit and the time their rigorous training takes them away from their families, but nearly all are raising money or awareness for a worthy cause. The narrative, written in a breezy journalistic style, jumps from character to character as they navigate the ups and downs of their training, competing in shorter races and juggling their other responsibilities. Steinberg lightens his authorial load by liberally quoting from the athletes' blog postings. Though the goal for which they are striving, described by one race official as a "poor man's Everest," may be remarkable, the majority of their experiences on the way to the finish line are more mundane, and none of their personalities come through strongly enough to provide readers more than a casual rooting interest.
The author does not provide deeper insight into the nature of human endurance, but anyone dreaming of completing a triathlon or just seeking to get off the couch and into better shape will find inspiration here.