It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

May 09, 2013

Against The Odds - Book Review

A few months ago I was contacted by John Pendergrass to read and review his book - Against The Odds:  The Adventures of a Man in His Sixties Competing in Six of the World’s Toughest Triathlons across Six Continents.  I love triathlon and inspiring stores so I figured why not.

I was pleased when I received the book to also find it personally signed by the author.

You can get a good idea of what the book is about by the title.  It’s kind of like reading a detailed blog post about each of John’s triathlon adventures – and they were all adventures to say the least!
If you are looking for a book that is about a world class elite athlete, who wins every race, then this is NOT the book for you.

If you are looking for a book that helps remind you that we are all capable of accomplishing great things if we set our minds to it, then this might just be the book for you.
John’s story resonated with me because he (like me) is a true back of the packer.  He’s not a super fast athlete.  He struggles on the swim, the bike, and the run.  He doesn’t have a coach.  Heck, he barely had a training plan, but yet, he competed in 6 different Ironmans – on 6 different continents!

As if an Ironman wasn’t difficult enough, John waited until he was in his 60s to start training for one and he also added in jet lag and language barriers just for fun!  The man went through it all from a lost bike at his first race, to food poisoning, and variety of other obstacles.
As he details each of his race day experiences I can feel some of his pain, as I remember my own 70.3 experience, but you can also relish in his joy as he crosses the finish line.

The book is also as much a book about travel as it is triathlon.  If you enjoy learning about different places, he goes to great lengths to share his experiences in each country with you.  He didn’t just show up and race, he spent several days at each location really experiencing their culture and all they had to offer.
The book is a quick read and is truly inspiring.  It’s available now on Amazon for roughly $11 for paperback or $8 on Kindle. 

NOTE:  I did receive the above book for free to review, but the thoughts and comments are my own.



  1. So great when people create their own adventures!

  2. It sounds like a great read.

  3. Sounds awesome! I am looking for an inspiring book to read and am going to download it right now. thanks for the recommendation!

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  5. Hello there! This article could not be written much better!

    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this article to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

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  6. Just added it to my list of books to check out. Thanks for sharing. Anyone willing to do triathlons in my book are pretty awesome. Then do it in retirement years, well, the man has my respect.