In all but one case every single one of them is very new to the sport of triathlon. One of them asked me my thoughts. My thoughts, almost word for word are the bullets at the end of my previous post.
*Obviously* it's not for me to say whether it's right or wrong for a person to do an Ironman. In the example I refer to my friend has some on going issues with a running injury that would necessitate training injured and probably racing injured; meaning that the marathon would be a walk, not a run.
Given this person's innate talent I offered that it'd be better to get well first and then consider the event.
A couple of other folks have finished a half ironman event along with some sprints and Olympic distance races and few years in the sport. They didn't ask for advice, but had some updates via the ubquitous social networking sites that gave the impression of indecsion, so I weighed in with, "hey, give this some thought" and posted Friel's article.
Man, it upset some folks. Lesson learned: People don't like to be told what to do; or maybe better yet, be preached at. Maybe it was Friel's tone? I thought he was pretty neutral but maybe it could have been read as condescending.
Net, it's not for me to say what is right or wrong for anyone with regard to racing but I happen to agree with Friel's sentiment which seems to be that being an accomplished athlete at distances other than ultra distance events (marathon, triathlon) is to be admired and something that a person could alternately aspire to.
Oh, and here is Friel's follow up post: