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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book Review- You Are An Ironman

I would be the first one to admit I will probably never run an Ironman triathlon. I am not quite sure I understand the desire to do the event. I've done 9 marathons and I'm done after a marathon. I can't even imagine training for 3 events of marathon length and then racing them in one day.

I'm more of a specialist in sprint triathlons.

Getting through the training is an accomplishment in itself.  This book follows six average athletes as they chase their dream of finishing an Ironman race.

The book focuses on the preparation of the athletes for the 2009 Ironman Arizona race in Tempe Arizona. I read the book when I was in Arizona for the Paratriathlon National Sprint Triathlon.

So I am a little familiar with the course.  I first learned about this book when a blogger reviewed this book along with my own book in an online post.

If you are not familiar an Ironman event is a 2.4 mile open swim done in a mass start of 3000 athletes, followed by a 112 mile course and finishes with a full marathon.

It is an accomplishment to get into the race. I know a few years ago Ironman Florida filled in 10 minutes.  Many hoping to get in serve as volunteers on the course sense they have preference to register. Then they pay $600 to $800 for the honor of getting to the starting line.

All six in the book were motivated by the prospect of hearing finish line announcer Mike Reilly announce "You are an Ironman" as they cross the finish line.

Even though I will probably never do this event I was riveted by the story of these six everyday athletes as they went through the grueling training. They face some of the same issues I faced getting ready for Boston; medical issues, death of a parent, injuries.

I constantly worried about a bike crash or other traumatic injury, because as an athlete you know it can end your dream whether your dream is running Boston or completing Ironman.

The author takes you from sign-up, through the training and to race day as each fights to complete their race.

Each one of these athletes has a special story and challenges they had to overcome both to get to the race and to compete on race day. I won't spoil the outcome. Pick up this book even if you have no intention of every doing the Ironman event. It is a testament to the human spirit. You will find it uplifting and inspiring.

Boston Marathon 2012

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015.  

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 159 members in 30 states. We also have members in Australia, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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