Booklist Review

You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World’s Toughest Triathlon.
Steinberg, Jacques (Author)

The Ironman triathlon, for all the armchair athletes in the crowd, is the most grueling triathlon in the world: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and then a full marathon. All in a row. With a 17-hour deadline. It’s an almost unimaginable physical challenge, but lots of people attempt it each year. This book follows a handful of amateurs, as opposed to professional triathletes, as they train for and compete in the Ironman. It’s the kind of book that makes you think: I could never do that. Followed by: But wouldn’t it be something to try? At first, this book sounds like a serious change of direction from Steinberg’s previous The Gatekeepers (2002), about admissions to premier colleges, but, actually, it isn’t so far removed. Like that book, this one focuses on people with clearly defined goals and ambitions but who can be stopped in their tracks by forces beyond their control. A compelling look at what may well be the most extreme of the extreme sports.

— David Pitt

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