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

Jacques Steinberg. Viking, $27.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-02302-8
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.)
Reviewed on: 07/11/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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