Not content with pursuing a first Formula One world title with the Brawn GP team, Jenson Button has revealed that is setting his sights on some of the world's leading triathletes.
The Briton, who recently began using the three-discipline event as a means of improving and maintaining his fitness levels, has revealed that he wants to compare favourably to the top ten per cent of competitors in this year's Mazda London Triathlon, having lodged an entry in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.
The event takes place during F1's summer break, over the weekend of 1-2 August, in and around the city's ExCel Centre. Reportedly the largest triathlon in the world - with over 13,000 entrants contesting a 1500m swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run - it regularly raises over £3m for various charities. While he is no stranger to competitive triathlons - he famously challenged F1 rival Lewis Hamilton to a head-to-head last season - Button admits that he is setting himself a tough task in London.
"I have been taking part in triathlons over the past couple of years as a way of keeping fit for my racing but, this year, I am aiming to finish in the top ten per cent of the London event, so no pressure,” he joked.
Button finished an impressive 16th out of 250 competitors at the amateur Sevenoaks Triathlon last year, and 117th out of 1700 competitors at the Olympic-distance Nokia Royal Windsor event, but admits that there is another reason for tackling the London race.
"This is the biggest triathlon in the world, so I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to raise money for a charity that is very close to my heart,” he confirmed, “I have had the pleasure of meeting lots of kids who are supported by the charity at our tests and races. These children are so inspirational and, hopefully, we can raise enough money to grant as many of their wishes as possible - whether that be to spend the day at a race track, to meet a favourite celebrity or just to take a trip away for some quality time with their families."
While earning the respect and gratitude of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Button's participation has also been seized upon by triathlon promoters.
"It is enormously exciting that Jenson is taking part in the Mazda London Triathlon," Nick Rusling, MD of event organiser IMG Mass Participation Sports, said, "He has already proven himself as a very strong triathlete and I'm sure he will inspire others to join him in this exciting sport, both by participating and through his charity support. I look forward to presenting him with a garland and champagne at the finish line.”