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The Iron in Man

How a book, booze, and a guilty hangover brought an admittedly non-athletic man to the starting line, and what happened next.

I had always assumed I would know if my penis was bleeding. Dick trauma, I figured, was one of those things in life—like having sex or getting stabbed to death—that I’d be aware of when it was happening. But after 11 hours of swimming, biking, and running, I didn’t notice that blood was soaking into the padded chamois of my spandex shorts. Instead, I was talking to the guy next to me about the Adirondack Mountains that soared around us. His wife’s family has a camp up there. It’s where they got married. “Beautiful country,” he said, before turning to the side of the road and retching into a blueberry bush.

“You OK?” 


And so I kept going as he dry-heaved, shuffling away on legs so tired and filled with aches that they were asleep and on fire at the same time.

It is 6 p.m. on July 27, 2014. I had started the Lake Placid Ironman a little before seven in the morning. Then, it was dark and stormy, and the 2,000 wetsuited men... Continue Reading

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