Raymond Braun’s mission to become the first person to complete seven Olympic-distance triathlons on seven continents in seven days started out smaller, as a shared hope. In 2021, Braun, ’12, MA ’12, was in cognitive behavioral therapy to address his lifelong struggle with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder; meanwhile, his best friend—classmate Maya Amoils, ’12—was undergoing treatment for cancer. They planned to train together for a single triathlon, to celebrate their mutual recovery, but Amoils died in 2022. In her honor and to raise awareness about mental health issues, Braun—a social impact communicator and content creator who had never run more than three consecutive miles—expanded his effort.
In February, he crossed his seventh and final finish line in Miami, becoming a world-record holder. Braun knows Amoils would be proud: A rainbow greeted him at the site of his second race, in Cape Town, South Africa, where some members of her family live. She’d also keep it real. She used to “try to get me to walk the Dish with her, and I wouldn’t,” he says. “She’d be reminding me of that.”
Rebecca Beyer is a Boston-area journalist. Email her at email@example.com.