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You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Triathlon
     

You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Triathlon

3.7 18
by Jacques Steinberg
 

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A New York Times bestselling author takes readers inside the Ironman triathlon.

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

Overview

A New York Times bestselling author takes readers inside the Ironman triathlon.

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..

Editorial Reviews

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.”

— Kirkus

“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.”

— TriEssential.com

"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.”

— StarNewsonline.com

“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.”

— Examiner.com

“[A] great book to read…”

— MinnesotaTriNews.com

“[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

Publishers Weekly
New York Times reporter Steinberg (The Gatekeepers) collects the personal tales of six people who set the completion of an ironman triathlon as their goal. All completed the Ironman Arizona in 2009 except for one who was injured and unable to compete; the title is taken from an iconic announcer's proclamation as each triathlete crosses the finish line. Their preparation is an engrossing story of pain and perseverance, which, while accessible to a general audience, may be mundane for triathletes. Steinberg, who is not yet a triathlete, states that the book is an "attempt... to capture what this experience feels like, not just for the participants themselves but for their spouses and children." Only one of the triathlete spouses was unsupportive; her voice is largely silent until the end when she "shed the ambivalence, sometimes bordering on hostility, with which she had once greeted her husband's Ironman dream." While the narrative is compelling, more focus on her perspective would have captured the complete experience. Photos. (Sept.)
-Ironman.com

"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."
-The Associated Press

"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."
-Active.com

"... a great new book that any first time Ironman entrant should read."
Kirkus Reviews

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143122074
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/26/2012
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
209,639
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Anyone dreaming of completing a triathlon or just seeking to get off the couch and into better shape will find inspiration here." —-Kirkus

Meet the Author

Jacques Steinberg has been a staff reporter for The New York Times for more than ten years and currently is a national education correspondent. In 1998, he was awarded the grand prize of the Education Writers Association for his nine-part series on a third-grade classroom on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

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You Are an Ironman 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book, I read it while training for my own first Ironman. Takes you through a few people's journey through their first Ironman as well. I also learned a few training tips through the characters in the book. Inspirational..
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Drewano More than 1 year ago
You are an Ironman follows six people through their training for Ironman Arizona in 2009. This book is more of a memoir than an training manual. The author does a great job of capturing the spirit of the Ironman, explaining to the reader why people do these the types races and their back stories, some of which are funny, some of which are inspirational and some just plain strange (there was one guy who heard about people at his Gym talking about finishing one and just decided to jump right in, or at least that what it seemed like). There are also short inspirational stories about people the athletes meet on the way such as about leg amputee and would be Ironman Rudy Garcia-Tolson. The tales of the would be Ironmen (sorry ladies they’re called Ironmen no matter what sex the competitor is) do a good job of conveying the ups and downs of the training that one goes through when preparing for an Ironman. The only drawback to the book was my specific book, was that it was in audiobook format. While I like audiobooks since they allow me to make better use of my time and are a good way to pass the training hours, in this case it made the book a bit hard to follow as the author jumped from one person to the next, so I would recommend that you get it on paper or in your favorite electronic format. Additionally since there weren’t really characters the performance was more of a book reading rather than a performance of a fiction book. A mix of fun, and inspiration, if you like endurance sports I would highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Motivating
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rleach770 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book having completed several Ironman races.  I found the background stories of each participant interesting, but by the end of the book couldn't easily recall the background.  The book jumps around giving small snippets of information about each participant in preparation for the race, going thru all of the issues that a everyday athlete goes thru, and how other responsibilities can get in the way of training an life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, truely an enjoyable and quick read
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Very inspiring. Professional triathletes are amazing, but it is the everyday person that reaches deep within themselves to find a way to make it to the starting line -- and then to the finish that truly impresses me. I am beginning to think that next summer's race calendar may include a triatholon or two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was motivating to read about everyday people as they trained, competed, and finished the Arizona Ironman Triathalon. I've now added the goal of finishing an Ironman event to my bucket list!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Post ere.