The weekend of the 21st April saw triathlon fans converge on Nelson Mandela Bay for the staging of the Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa event.
Isuzu has provided official vehicle support for the South African Ironman event for the past four years. In addition to this, the brand’s involvement extends down to the individual competitor level where Isuzu brand ambassador Alec Riddle is a prominent age group competitor not only in South Africa but also on an international level.
The Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa is made up of a 3.8 kilometre swim, a 180 kilometre cycle section and a 42 kilometre run. Facing this challenge, Riddle, aged 51, finished an amazing 63rd overall in a first class international field and runner up in the 50-54 age division. In doing so he qualified for an entry for the World Ironman Championships to be staged in Kona, Hawaii in October this year. No stranger to international Ironman competition, Riddle won the World Championship 70.3 held in Las Vegas last year, he will compete for two major world titles under the Isuzu banner this year. Riddle was the only South African in the top five in his age division with competitors from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, and the Czech Republic.
Another standout performance in this, a typically tough Ironman event made even tougher by inclement weather and cold temperatures, was that of the Eastern Cape’s Celeste Swart, another of the 30 competitors in Isuzu colours. Celeste won the ladies 40-44 age category and crossed the finish line 21st amongst all female competitors, including professional athletes. Pat Thomson carried the Isuzu banner to 2nd place in the ladies 50-54 age category.
Isuzu’s Keri Delport finished 5th in the ladies 25-29 age category while Isuzu team mates Angela Ackermann and Liesl Gey Van Pittius finished 8th and 9th respectively in the ladies 30-34 age category. Thomson, Delport and Van Pittius all finished within the top 50 ladies.
A challenging weekend of sport that saw the Isuzu flag held high, both in its support for Ironman South Africa as official vehicle supplier, and through the support of individual competitors in this gruelling event.