Becoming an Ironman: 1st Encounters With the Ultlimate Endurance Race

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Kara Douglass Thom
Breakaway Books, 2001 - Sports & Recreation - 286 pages
18 Reviews

An inspirational collection of oral histories about the experience of competing in one's first full Ironman triathlon. This is the ultimate test of endurance: a 2.4-mile open-ocean swim, a 112-mile bike race, and a full 26.2-mile marathon, all raced end-to-end in one grueling day.

In the style of First Marathons, this book is not a how-to or a technical guide: it is pure, heartfelt human experience. Each person's story is compelling and dramatic in its own way. Collectively, the stories are both instructional and uplifting—for anyone even dreaming of attempting this forbidding challenge. As one triathlete said, trying to recount his first race, "I have searched for a way to describe the indescribable. I feel as though I climbed a huge mountain, saw an incredible vista, and now am back on the ground trying to relate what it looked like. It's like trying to describe childbirth or God or making love."

These stories come from men and women of all ages and abilities. Some are stories from the champions, and some from those who could not even finish. Together they testify to all the joy and agony of the race; and they provide priceless personal advice on nutrition, equipment, clothing, mental preparation, emotional fatigue, terrain, and weather. An unforgettable ode to our fastest-growing endurance sport.

Kara Douglass Thom has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and currently is the editor of the Dallas Medical Journal. She is a freelance writer for Triathlete magazine and The Dallas Morning News. Her writing has appeared in Runner's World and Spirit magazine, among other publications.

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User Review  - debbie.menzel - LibraryThing

A friend loaned this to Mike when he was training for his first Ironman triathlon. This has personal accounts by all sorts of people regarding their first Ironman experience. Some stories are funny, some are sad but all are inspirational. Read full review

Review: Becoming an Ironman: First Encounters with the Ultimate Endurance Event

User Review  - Carolyn - Goodreads

A nice compendium of stories from those who have completed (and not completed) 140.6 on their first try. the stories could be pretty similar, but gave a nice little glimpse into the world of ironman triathlon. Read full review


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About the author (2001)

Thom has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and currently is the editor of the Dallas Medical Journal.

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