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

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

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 seventeen 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.
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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

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (227 )
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3.9 (194 )
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Performance
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  •  
    PS LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 02-08-13
    PS LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 02-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Eh"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla 04-03-12
    Carla 04-03-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Ironman Here I come (someday)"
    What made the experience of listening to You Are an Ironman the most enjoyable?

    It was very motivational.


    Have you listened to any of Kirby Heyborne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    It was great at motivating me to get off my booty and start moving again. WARNING: Don't listen to if you want to be a couch potato!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Toronto, ON, Canada 10-31-12
    Jason Toronto, ON, Canada 10-31-12
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    "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!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, United States 08-27-12
    Jane VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, United States 08-27-12
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    "Great book to listen to while running - Inspiring!"
    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this book while training for a marathon so I had lots of miles to fill. I found it to be enjoyable and inspiring. It is not a "how to" guide for training for an Ironman -- instead it is a collection of stories about regular people who, for whatever reason, decide to train and participate in the Ironman Arizona 2009 race. On occasion it because a little confusing remembering which person was which (there were about 8) when starting a new chapter, but if I kept listening I always figured it out.

    Stories are very personal and personable -- I had no problem listening to up to 2 hours while running. I did listen to it on 1 1/2 speed (as I do all audiobooks) because I find that more interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James R. Folker Mt. Pleasant, IA 10-20-11
    James R. Folker Mt. Pleasant, IA 10-20-11 Member Since 2004

    Cobb

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    "Loved this book, keeps me going"

    Great book about fairly ordinary people of various ages that have jobs, kids, lives, etc. but decide to pursue competing in an Ironman race. This is the best fitness bio I have read to date. It motivates me to keep working out since these people aren't so different than me. Really enjoyed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 11-14-13
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2009

    Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant

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    "Inspirational"

    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 being an audiobook 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Poe DFW, Texas 11-06-13
    J. Poe DFW, Texas 11-06-13
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    "Interesting but droned on a bit"

    If you have ever wanted to understand what is involved in an Ironman, this book follows the backgrounds of a diverse group of people and how they approached training for and competing in Ironmans. I don't really have any interest in participating in an Ironman, but I thought it would be an interesting read. I would say it was an average book. It didn't particularly move me and it droned on a bit in parts, but it was interesting enough. I probably wouldn't recommend it unless it was on sale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Devin Romeo, Mi, United States 07-23-13
    Devin Romeo, Mi, United States 07-23-13
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    "great to listen too while training"
    Would you consider the audio edition of You Are an Ironman to be better than the print version?

    I only listened to it


    What other book might you compare You Are an Ironman to and why?

    "here to win" by Chris MacCormack. Both are about triathlons one from a professionals view and the other from a weekend worrier. both are great reads


    Have you listened to any of Kirby Heyborne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    great to listen while on the bike training for my triathlon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-22-13

    ZEN. LDS. GTD. FTW.

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    "Couldn't Make It To The Finish"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Another narrator. It's a subjective thing, but I couldn't stand the narrators voice, even after repeated tries. It was too passive and sort of whiny.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More emotion and less of a documentary angle.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Kirby Heyborne’s performances?

    No. Kirby's style and tone isn't a match for my ears.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration because of the laid-back pacing of the story and Kirby's voice.


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook has been the biggest disappointment yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Pullman, Washington, United States 02-25-13
    Joe Pullman, Washington, United States 02-25-13
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    "Very Inspiring"
    Would you consider the audio edition of You Are an Ironman to be better than the print version?

    I liked it because I don't seem to have a lot of time to sit down and read. It probably would have taken me months to finish the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No favorite. All of the athletes were truly amazing.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was great. He kept me wanting to hear more. I was sad when the book ended.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I would keep the book title as the tag line. You are an Ironman.


    Any additional comments?

    I would love to have more inspirational "true life" books to choose from. This book was the best I have heard/read in a very long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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