The 17-hour mark is a defining time in the world of Ironman. It is the final moment in which triathletes can be christened a true “Ironman” by famed race announcer Mike Reilly.
In just one day, athletes push themselves through a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike course, and a marathon—all to hear Reilly say: “You are… an Ironman” at the red carpet finish line.
Hearing Reilly’s iconic voice reverberate over the loudspeaker declaring their accomplishment is the prize thousands of triathletes seek out each year. Finding My Voice is Reilly’s self-published novel that showcases some of the most remarkable athletes and experiences Reilly has encountered over the past 31 years.
From the first chapter, Reilly welcomes readers to immerse themselves in the world of Ironman triathlon. This warm-hearted invitation to be part of the Ironman family stays with the reader across all 18 chapters of the book. It’s as if, for the duration of the novel, you are Reilly’s best friend and confidante.
The stories of intense triumph after tribulation are woven together across the 243 pages, with each chapter offering the subtle reminder that we are all capable of more than we think, and that we are our only limitation.
Though at times the narrative digresses from the chapter’s central flow, it is not without purpose. The extra tidbits and anecdotes enhance the book’s conversational tone.
In a phone conversation, Reilly noted that the personal stories shared in Finding My Voice are so incredible he felt it would be selfish not to pass them on. The healing power of those 140.6 miles is unlike anything he’s ever witnessed, Reilly said. As the reader, the compelling descriptions of the victors will have you nodding in agreement.
When Reilly describes the roar of the crowd on the red carpet and the excruciating circumstances athletes have overcome in order to reach the finish line, the reader can’t help but root for the former inmate, the double amputee, or the father who lost his daughter. Keeping a box of tissues handy while reading isn’t a bad idea.
Whether you are a seasoned Ironman athlete, a newcomer to the sport, an athlete supporter, or none of the above, the intense emotions surrounding this 140.6-mile long race emanate from every page and send chills of wonderment down the spine.
It is aptly stated early on in the novel that, “Ironman isn’t just something you do; it’s something you become.” When asked why he continues to announce Ironman races after more than three decades on the job, Reilly said, “There is nothing greater than bringing happiness to someone else’s life.” So long as athletes continue to make Ironman part of their journey to fulfillment, you can count on Reilly’s voice at the finish line, bringing athletes home.
Learn how to order the book or the audiobook, which Reilly voiced himself, at Mikereilly.net.