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Meet the voice of Ironman: Paul Kaye!

We are super delighted to bring you another exclusive Meet the Athlete but with a twist! Meet the voice of Ironman - Paul Kaye! Havering Tri have been greeted by Paul on the famous Red Carpet over the last few years at several European races and we are privileged to bring you this scoop!

You’re known to triathletes as one of the voices of Ironman, how did you get into announcing? It is a pretty long story, but here are the basics: I started as a radio DJ on Cape Town’s biggest commercial radio station at the age of 20 back in 1990, and also did all the sports reporting. This lead to me being asked to announce boat racing, which saw me learn my trade. In 1994 I was asked to do the TV commentary for a southern African International Sprint Triathlon Series, and this saw me learn triathlon. I eventually did my first sprint tri in 2000 and also announced my first Ironman in 2001 as well as being the narrator for the one hour TV documentary. When IM returned to SA in 2005 I did the TV narration again and in 2006 was asked to be the co-announcer. This is what got it all started. In 2010 I gave up working in the corporate world and decided to see if I could turn my hobby of announcing into a career. I’m so glad I did. What has been the most memorable event that you have announced at and why? This is near impossible to answer, as every event is memorable, every finisher is memorable in some form. And then, if you add up all the sports events I have announced over the last 30 years from boat racing to ocean sailing to tournament waterskiing, running, cycling and triathlon - it can all sometimes blur into one. Also, races can be memorable for various reasons - because of an event that happened (2009 IMSA the finisher marquee tent collapsed in a freak wind, 70.3 Zell am See bike being cancelled due to snow), personal (in 2011, IM Nice just before the start, my wife informed me that my mother had died), athlete performance (too many to mention: Chrissie setting an IM record at IMSA 2011, the titanic battle between Frodo, Ali and Javi at 70.3 Worlds in SA - and on the list goes) and then of course, my very first trip to announce in Kona in Oct 2014. So, I think you get the picture - too hard to choose and we don’t have enough column centimetres for all the memories.

What is your favourite Ironman race that you have commented at? Answering this is very much like trying to answer the above question. Ironman doesn’t put on bad races, only great races, and some are a little greater than others. And then I haven’t announced every race and so can only comment on the races I have. And there are so many variables - the place, the people, the team, the course, the athletes. Plus, being a Saffa, if I said IM African Champs - it would seem very biased. Suffice to say, I can say with confidence that every race I have had the pleasure of working at is someones favourite and they are all worth racing. We all want to hear those famous words “You are an Ironman”. Having completed races yourself, what is your top tip for any aspiring triathlete looking to train and complete a full distance race? I have finished 2 full IM’s and never been told that I am an IRONMAN. That said, my top tip is to fully immerse yourself in the experience, absorb it all, take it all in - the good and the bad, the tough moments and the awesome ones - they all add up to create the insanely awesome and emotional Magic Carpet finish line moment of personal triumph. And, whatever you do, don’t rush your finish, milk it. How is your own training going in SA and what’s your next event going to be in racing terms ? My training was going super well until mid June when I aggravated a meniscus tear in my right knee which saw me stop all cardio completely until November, in November I had the privilege of doing 2 cycle events. For now, it is just about keeping fit and healthy. No races on my horizon. Lastly, your top tip for club level / ages group triathletes trying to keep focused in the hope of being able to race again in 2021? I often see people getting way too hooked on chasing the specific event or finish time - for me, I feel the events should be a celebration of the fact that we are healthy, fit and privileged enough to be able to participate in events. Focus on the daily endorphin rush, on the camaraderie, and being the best version of yourself and knowing that the version of you that got off the couch, beat the version of you that didn’t. We will be at the races again together again, and we will all hopefully be a lot more grateful for it.

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