TV test of mettle for Ironman Riddle

Shaun Gillham

WITH his workhorse-like mindset, top Bay and international athlete, award-winning financial planner and inspirational motivational speaker Alec Riddle added another feather to his cap by featuring in one of Isuzu’s latest television advertisements.

Best known in Port Elizabeth for his sporting achievements, having won the 50+ age group Ironman South Africa in 2010 and achieved a number of other age-group triathlon victories in South Africa and abroad, Riddle, 52, took centre stage in an “Ironman versus iron horse” television commercial filmed during February this year.

The advert is flighted on a number of national television channels and in prime-time slots.

“It was an incredible experience,” Riddle said. “When you are a kid, some dream of becoming a lawyer or a doctor or a fireman, that sort of thing.

“As a youngster, I dreamed of becoming an actor, but of course that never happened.

“But suddenly this dream came true and I was able to experience a day in the life of an actor. It was great.”

With bakkies often being referred to as workhorses, tenacious athlete Riddle, who has been an Isuzu brand ambassador since 2011, was perhaps an obvious choice for the advertisement.

The commercial is one of four which have different themes and are aimed at promoting the qualities of the new range of Isuzu bakkies, which are assembled by General Motors SA in Port Elizabeth.

“The filming took a full day and was a tough event in itself. We were up at 3am and only finished at 9pm. The filming was done in and around a dam at Oak Valley in the Western Cape and it was amazing to experience, especially to see how the whole process worked – how each component from make- up to catering all slotted in.

“The base theme of the commercial was that as an athlete, I had to race the bakkie and this involved a swim, run and cycling segment. I spent two hours in the water just to get the swimming part done. It must have been my style in swimming, which is not my best activity, which kept me so long in the water,” Riddle said.

He said the response to his TV exposure had been “tremendous”.

Riddle, who was the Financial Planning Institute and Personal Finance Magazine’s Financial Planner of the Year for 2009, presents motivational talks around South Africa on behalf of the Isuzu brand, and plans to compete in more international triathlon events later this year.

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