What drives a man to participate in every single IRONMAN competition ever hosted in Port Elizabeth?
It is the need to stay active and fit explains Dr. Franzt Struwig, an expert in Occupational Medicine based at Isuzu Motors South Africa's medical centre.
Struwig, who has just returned from the Two Oceans marathon in Cape Town, completed his 15th full IRONMAN triathlon endurance event two weeks ago. Over 15 years he has amassed 3 393 kilometres, covering a distance longer than the South African coastline.
"My goal is to take part and enjoy the events and not so much about how long it takes or in what position I finish. The interaction and camaraderie amongst the athletes are also very special," said Struwig.
This modest doctor has been the resident physician at Isuzu since 1993, in addition to providing a service to other companies in Nelson Mandela Bay - looking after the health and wellbeing of employees in industry.
A true inspiration and a good example to his patients, Struwig demonstrates the numerous health benefits of exercise - for both body and mind. "It brings you into contact with wonderful people and opens the door to the enjoyment of nature and our environment. I managed to involve my whole family in sport. They are all partaking in the different IRONMAN and other events, and in so doing there has been no shortage of training partners. We have spent many memorable hours together as a family, training and taking part in the different events," he said.
So how does Dr Struwig maintain a balance between work and exercise? "I do not have a vigorous training schedule but I aim to train every day or as much as what my schedule allows. If I miss a day's training due to work commitments, I accept it and do not stress about it. I try to stick to a training schedule that works for me, alternating between the different triathlon disciplines," said Struwig.
"I think it's fantastic that Isuzu supports IRONMAN, as well as our local rugby team. It sends a strong message that we support and encourage sport and the participation thereof. IRONMAN fits in with the Isuzu brand and what it stands for," said Struwig.
What is next on the doctor's athletic event schedule? Later in the year he plans to tackle the Comrades Marathon, Transbaviaans and Karoo-to-Coast mountain bike events.