In mid-October, Josef Ajram will do seven Ironman-distance races – and achieve a long-held dream.
In May of last year, Josef Ajram traveled to the Canary Islands to undertake one of the biggest challenges of his life – completing seven consecutive Ironman distance triathlons.
The first stop was El Hierro, where from early morning things started to get complicated. "I was stung by a jellyfish swimming. It was not serious, but made me uncomfortable. Starting the bike leg, I had problems with the seat," says Josef seeing video from over a year ago for the first time.
But the biggest blow came in La Gomera. The islands were under a full heat wave. The haze and the 38-degrees heat prevented him from continuing. "I suffered a heat stroke," says Ajram. "That moment was very hard. After many months of training, it's hard to accept that you're out on the second day."
Josef ended up in the hospital of La Gomera, where he was examined by doctors. The heat stroke caused severe dehydration and, after spending the afternoon at the hospital, and being discharged at night, doctors advised against continuing with the challenge. "They said I had to rest and recover because my fluids were very low. Then I realized that it really was over. But if something life teaches you is that you have to go back and try again."
Josef and his team return to the Canary Islands from October 14 – 20th to try again. If successful, after seven days, the Catalan triathlete will have completed a total of 26.6km swimming, 1,260km cycling and 294km running.
It's a distance that few could withstand, with two additional difficulties: the topography of the island, and short amount of rest between days – made even shorter because he has to travel from one island to another daily.
Nevertheless, Ajram is optimistic. "I worked very hard this year. I have changed many things in my day-to-day routine, including workouts and food, and I feel much stronger!"
Follow Ajram's Red Bull 7 Islands here.