For several years now, I have been regaling you with tales from the worlds of computing and science. It appears that there has been some merit to this endeavor, as the good people at Newsmax.com have not (thus far) seen fit to yank my credentials and send me packing.
Even better: As somewhat of a reward for not having bored their readers to tears, they have kindly consented to turning their backs momentarily while I slip in a crassly commercial plug for a new book. Before they catch on, let me explain.
For over twenty-five years, I have been a writer and photographer for the World Triathlon Corporation, the company that owns IRONMAN. For those of you not familiar with it, IRONMAN is considered the premier endurance athletic event in the world. It’s a 140.6-mile race consisting of three disciplines, done consecutively, with no breaks: a 2.4-mile swim in open water, a bike ride of 112 miles, followed up by a full marathon of 26.2 miles.
What started out as a private challenge for 15 individuals in 1978 has since grown into the largest series of endurance racing events in the world, and one man has been witness to it all. His name is Mike Reilly, a.k.a. “the Voice of IRONMAN,” and in addition to presiding over about a dozen IRONMAN races each year, for the past thirty years he’s been the official announcer of the IRONMAN World Championship that takes place in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, every October.
More than 400,000 athletes have heard his iconic pronouncement, “You are an IRONMAN!” as they crossed the finish line having accomplished something most of us can hardly imagine.
Every one of those athletes has a story, and Reilly has heard hundreds of them. Ever passionate about the sport and its participants, he listened closely as they poured out remarkable tales that illuminate the human capacity for triumphing over seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
A firefighter nearly given up for dead after a horrific accident fights his way back to an IRONMAN start line. A former U.S. Marine, battling PTSD after losing many of his comrades in a deadly battle, finds healing in IRONMAN. Two professional triathletes battle each other in what was arguably the greatest head-to-head athletic competition of any kind, ever.
At long last, at the urging of many friends and athletes, Reilly decided to write a book about what he’s seen and what he’s learned. Wisely, he asked me to help, and here’s the result:
Profoundly moving and inspirational, the stories range from the incredible to the hilarious and the book has already received raves from such luminaries (and IRONMAN finishers) as actor-producer-director Sean Astin, Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward, and Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray.
We aimed "MIKE REILLY: Finding My Voice" squarely at the general reader. Even those who have never heard of IRONMAN will be amazed, delighted, and inspired by these riveting tales.
You can learn more about this book and find out how to purchase a copy (it’s in hardcover, softcover, eBook and audio editions) by visiting www.mikereilly.net/findingmyvoice/.
I think you’re going to like it.
Thanks for listening, and I’ll be back soon with a new installment of “A Walk on the Tech Side.”
Lee Gruenfeld is a managing partner of Cholawsky and Gruenfeld Advisory, as well as a principal with the TechPar Group in New York, a boutique consulting firm consisting exclusively of former C-level executives and "Big Four" partners. He was vice president of strategic initiatives for Support.com, senior vice president and general manager of a SaaS division he created for a technology company in Las Vegas, national head of professional services for computing pioneer Tymshare, and a partner in the management consulting practice of Deloitte in New York and Los Angeles. Lee is also the award-winning author of fourteen critically-acclaimed, best-selling works of fiction and non-fiction. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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