Synopses & Reviews
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..
"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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About 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.