ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Zachary Josie’s journey to competing in the St. George Ironman World Championship has been anything but quick and easy.
Josie was born with a type of Dwarfism called Ellis-van Creveld syndrome. Growing up, Josie recalls how he couldn’t play many sports because of his size.
“I always felt that I needed to challenge myself physically,” said Josie. “It helped me build my confidence when I was really pushing myself.”
Josie gained his love of triathlons after taking a spin class in college as an elective credit. After picking up running from his older brother, Josie would go on to compete in the Spudman Triathlon in Burley, Idaho.
“I didn’t have much of a swimming background,” said Josie. “The swimming portion was down a river, so I basically floated my way down to the finish.”
While Josie has competed in half Ironmans in the past, this past weekend saw his first debut at a full Ironman competition. Because of Josie’s size, a bike and wetsuit were customized to fit his stature for the competition.
“I didn’t finish as fast as I had wanted to, since the 95 degree heat really slowed me down,” said Josie. The Ironman competition usually takes place in Hawaii, which usually has high winds, but not nearly as much heat as St. George did this past weekend.
Josie’s wife has always been at every race he’s been to and his latest Ironman competition was no exception.
“She is always at the finish line screaming my name,” said Josie. “She really has been such an amazing support to me.”
Josie currently lives in South Jordan, Utah and works in construction with his dad when he’s not training for his next triathlon.