A collection of personal stories about the experience of competing in one's first Ironman triathlon. This is the ultimate test of endurance: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run, all raced end-to-end in one grueling day-and these stories tell it straight: what to expect, how to prepare, what was rewarding, what was miserable. These stories come from men and women of all ages and abilities. Some are stories from the champions, and some from those who did not 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 an extraordinary endurance sport-a book for anyone who wants to become an ironman.