Punishing race for Syrian orphans

Jason McCarthy is taking part in an ironman triathlon to raise money for Unicef.
Jason McCarthy is taking part in an ironman triathlon to raise money for Unicef.

Against personal adversity Jason McCarthy, 23, has pushed himself to the limit for a gruelling Ironman Triathlon on Sunday in aid of UNICEF’s work with Syrian children.

Covering 70.3 miles or 113.2km, the race is a good step up from Olympic distance with a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run through Exmoor National Park on mixed terrain.

Although pumped up and ready to go, the road to the Ironman has not been easy.

“My main battle has been with my body more than my mind. Training is going really well but at the beginning my body began to show signs of wear and tear and I was facing potential surgery.

“Luckily physiotherapy did the job and I once I was over that hurdle it was plain sailing,” Jason said.

Freelance web developer and designer Jason became aware of UNICEF during the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He said: “I felt compelled to help support the generations of orphans and children of the recent and ongoing Syrian conflict.

“It was November 2013, at the height of media coverage into alleged chemical attacks which made me realise that any aid was invaluable be it blankets for the winter, supplies or just the basics to survive the night, let alone a conflict.

“I find fund raising a challenge in itself so I thought, why not combine a difficult physical challenge with something else I find hard?”

Born in Ninewells, Jason has been in and out of Arbroath all his life due to his father’s job in the Royal Marines.

“He has always set the bar high and therefore fitness has been always been a big aspect of my life.”

Quietly confident Jason is aiming to raise as much money as he can for the worthy cause and ‘competing to complete’ will be happy to finish the event.

“Like everything in life, it has been finding a balance between work and training and having a life in-between!”