East London doctor suits up for the kids
While taking on Ironman 70.3 seems like enough of a challenge, East London doctor Jason Thoresen will be making most of the arduous 113km trek in suit pants, a jacket and tie.
Participating in aid of the Ironman 4 the Kidz Charity Trust for the third time this year, Thoresen, 30, will swim 1.9km before suiting up for charity and completing the remaining 90km cycle and 21.1km run in his bright orange suit on January 27.
Since his first Ironman 4 the Kidz Charity Trust in 2017, Thoresen has managed to raise almost R100,000 for the beneficiaries in the Buffalo City Metro area, including the Salem Baby Care Centre, Sophumelela Centre and the Star Uplifting Centre.
“I got tired of doing the average Ironman and I wanted to change things up,” said Thoresen, who has completed six Ironman 70.3 races to date.
“At first I wanted to do it in a full tux and support a charity of my choice.
“But Ironman 4 the Kidz heard about my idea and contacted me. I’m really glad I did it this way because their support has been amazing and I even managed to get Sophumelela, a charity I am passionate about, on the list of beneficiaries.”
Thoresen’s orange suit is an exact replica of an average business suit and has proven to make the long haul a uniquely challenging one.
“I do the swim in a regular wetsuit and then change into the orange suit for the cycle.
“There’s a bit of resistance on the bike but the worst is the run.
“I die a slow death up Bunkers Hill every year,” Thoresen laughed.
Despite the added difficulty, Thoresen’s training schedule is anything but rigid.
Yet he has managed to finish the Ironman in under seven hours each year.
“This year I only started training on December 24 and I’ve only got two swims in, but I don’t race the Ironman; I just take it slow and do it to finish.
“Knowing that I’m doing it for something bigger also pushes me to keep going,” he added.
While Ironman 4 the Kidz is supported by many athletes, who wear an orange charity vest during the race, Thoresen is the only one to participate in a bright orange suit.
“Being able to create more awareness and see more people jump on board and support Ironman 4 the Kidz is the most rewarding thing,” said Thoresen.
“Many people still don’t really know much about the trust, but wearing the suit and having people ask questions and donate when they find out what I’m doing is really great.
“Thousands of people watch the Ironman every year and if each one just gives R15 it would be huge for the beneficiaries.”
Thoresen’s wife Caryn, who has been supporting her husband since the beginning, manages the donations and cheers him on from the sidelines.
“I’m just the idiot who runs in a suit – the Ironman 4 the Kidz organisers and my wife run everything else and it’s because of them that the beneficiaries are so well supported,” said Thoresen.
To donate to the cause, e-mail email@example.com or SMS “KIDS 752” to 39408 to donate R15.