Wednesday, August 29, 2012

17 Hours to Glory

I have a long list of things I have to do and things I need to do. Sometimes I have a hard time telling the difference between what it is I HAVE to do and what I WANT to do. Reading is one of those things. I love my books but every time I have a chance to sit down I am reminded of something I have to do or I fall asleep. My life can be summarized as such: gogogogogogogogogogo, sleep.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book. How could I not? The writing was not the best and some of the stories seemed to go on forever about nothing while others left me wanting more. It takes 17 of the greatest finishers of the Hawaii Ironman and tells their stories from start to finish. Every Ironman athlete has a story but each of the 17 selected athletes have a very special story. From Mark Allen to Sister Madonna Buder to Chrissie Wellington,  each chapter goes through the athlete's background and what brought them to the finish line in Kona. Some of the stories are real feel-good-potential-for-"Lifetime"-after-school-specials types and others are highly technical featuring race strategies, PRs, course records and the role of competition camaraderie. Here are 17 tips and observations I made/noted while I was reading. 
  1. Don't drink Gatorade - Mark Allen
  2. Don't drink Exceed - Team Hoyt
  3. Don't put your life on hold. Anything worth doing is worth doing now. -Greg Welch
  4. Don't ever consider quitting - Julie Moss
  5. Your "ace in the hole" may ultimately turn into your weakest leg - Thomas Hellriegel
  6. You can still lose the race by 2:25 with only 3 miles of the run to go - Mark Allen
  7. If it takes sitting by the side of the road for twenty minutes to finish the IM, then by all means do it. -Paula Newby-Fraser 
  8. I never thought of myself as extremely talented, I worked very, very hard and never had any issue with doing the hard work. -Peter Reid
  9. You have to believe om your abilities and potential. Natural talent won't help if your head is not in the right place -Marc Herremans
  10. There are six times in every race where you enter a dark place of doubt and must have that passion to overcome -Brett Sutton via Chrissie Wellington
  11. The quickest way yo get faster swimming is to jump in the fast lanes -Greg Welch
  12. What a waste of two legs! You have them and you don't even use them! -Sarah Reinertsen
  13. Once you quit it can get to be a habit
  14. Age is just a number, like a race number, it does not predict the winners and losers -Natasha Badmann
  15. Only those who set goals stay motivated. -Robert McKeague
  16. Don't ride 340 miles the week before a race -Julie Moss
  17. The "Iron War" between Mark Allen and Dave Scott is overrated, especially when you consider the intense rivalry between physically challenged athletes David Bailey and Carlos Moleda. Truly truly inspiring, by far the best chapter in the book. 

Most of us only hear about the wins but this book reminded me that it is not about the destination, it is all about the journey. 


Listing of the 17 profiled athletes in the 17 Hours to Glory:
- Julie Moss
- Mark Allen
- Team Hoyt
- Paula Newby-Fraser
- Greg Welch
- Sister Madonna Buder
- Karen Smyers
- Thomas Hellriegel
- David Bailey and Carlos Moleda
- Andreas Niedrig
- Robert McKeague
- Sarah Reinertsen
- Peter Reid
- Natascha Badmann
- Marc Herremans
- Normann Stadler
- Chrissie Wellington