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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2011 Jacques Steinberg (P)2011 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Anyone dreaming of completing a triathlon or just seeking to get off the couch and into better shape will find inspiration here." ( Kirkus)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By PS on 02-08-13


I have been listening to a lot of inspirational endurance athlete type books while training for a marathon, and honestly this is not one of the best. There is a fascinating intro about the history of the Ironman, but then it drags into a very long and boring stretch (the vast majority of the book) of basically just doing through the training logs of the participants, and reading their blogs (which in turn are just descriptions of their training). Too many characters that are not distinct enough so in audiobook form it is easy to zone out as to whose cold swim or century bike ride you are hearing about. Lots of stories of minor injuries and getting over them which don't really go anywhere. I will say that it does impress upon you the sheer volume of training that an Ironman requires, which blows my marathon training out of the water.

For this type of book I would greatly recommend Born to Run, Eat and Run or Finding Ultra before this book.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jason on 10-31-12

Inspiration: possible...even for weekend warriors!

What did you love best about You Are an Ironman?

The stories in this book are as real life and varied as you can get. It was a fun listen that was easy to get into. It made me feel that the goal of an ironman is possible even for those of us with busy lives and starting points wrt our training. If the Ironman highlight videos on youtube have captured your attention - this listen is for you!

What does Kirby Heyborne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Kirby's reading makes this very personal. His use of tone, inflection and personal flare for speaking like the characters in the book was a highlight.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The entire last chapter of walking through raceday with each of the charaters was a delight. Talk of the comraderie shown on the course and personal moments each experienced definitely changed my view of what racing in an ironman could be - for the better!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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