"You feel great when you're done," said David Joubran, president and CEO of Acumen Solutions in Vienna. "It's an unbelievable feeling to know the finish is nearby, and you get a surge of energy and feel very charged up as people are screaming for you.”
David Joubran competed in the 2003 CEO Ironman Challenge on July 27 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The CEO Challenge was a five-day event that consisted of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile marathon run.
In order to participate in the event, each company had to have sales in excess of $2 million per year. Some 29 CEOs and company presidents fitted this category and competed in the 2003 CEO Ironman Challenge.
“Wow, obviously it was a very big challenge. I totally supported him since it’s something that he has been working so hard on,” said Samira Thabet, the head of marketing and communications for Acumen Soltions.
The competition in Lake Placid was Joubran's third Ironman competition since he began three years ago. He had been intrigued by the Ironman athletes as he watched them on television when he was a child. When a friend gave him an extra push, Joubran finally decided to embark one of the most physically grueling competitions in the world.
"I trained an average of 20 hours a week by running and biking around the neighborhood. Weekends were filled with long runs and long rides, usually six hours of riding and four hours of running.
Like many tenderfoots, Joubran was intimidated by his first two Canadian Ironman competitions. As for the competition in Lake Placid, he said that it was fun because he was able to spend some time with the other competitors and get to know them. Because of the camaraderie that developed before the race, many competitors supported each other while on the course.
The mental capability of the CEO and president of Acumen Solutions was put to the test, as were his physical abilities.
"It's kind of like a roller coaster. First you're focused and excited. Then you hit those moments where you're thinking, ‘What am I doing here? This is the craziest thing, I'm never going to do it again.’ When I saw my fiancee on the turn course, I told her to never let me do this again. But the next day, I was signing up again."
While his fiance was there to support him, Joubran received plenty of support at home.
“I was really excited for him, he always loves a challenge and he is so focused and driven, I thought it would be a great experience for not only him, but for the company as well,” said Margie Johnson, the manger of operations and morale for Acumen Solutions. “He kind of put his money where his mouth is, since he is always telling us to go out and try new things.”
Leading by example, Joubran was able to prove his commitment and dedication for the company to his co-workers and himself. Being the second youngest CEO in the competition, Joubran still has plenty of time to become a better athlete as he stives to expand and better his comapny.
It took Joubran about 15 hours to complete the course, and he says that things did not go as planned. The two main things to maintain in a long race are good nutrition and a high energy level. Somewhere along the way, he did not get the right mix of foods, according to Joubran.
The 33-year-old Joubran was never really an intensive athlete. When he was younger, he played several sports and continued to run after school in order to keep in shape, but as he was growing up, he never anticipated competing in Ironman competitions.