The Triathletes follows a year in the life of four women as they prepare to race the Ironman Triathlon in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Author Jeff Cook introduces us to Jan Ripple, the mother of three who is always a factor in the shorter races, but has problems competing in the longer distances of the Ironman. Paula Newby-Frasier is the outsider, originally from South Africa, who doesn't fit in yet with the San Diego triathlon crowd. She trains the least, but has the most talent and is the reigning Ironman champion. Kirsten Hanssen is a devout, born-again Christian who races for God but is injured and may not even make it to the starting line. Julie Wilson trains hard, but doesn't have the sponsors and financial backing that the other three women enjoy. She lives like a pauper, chasing her dream of an Ironman victory and the financial rewards which go with it. Cook follows these four women through a year of training and racing, as each prepares for the ultimate test. Who will win? Read the book to find out!
Cook does an excellent job detailing the struggles that top women triathletes go through. Not only do they face the physical challenges of competing in the Ironman, but they also face discrimination, stereotyping, and the challenges of being the top women in a male-dominated sport.
Reviewed by pk, 3/00. Other reviews by pk.