Commentator – Paul Thomas

Written by Ben Tisdall

22 September 2023

Paul Thomas often commentates at our bigger events & will be on the mic at Dawlish Triathlon & Swims this Sunday. We asked Paul how we went from horse riding to triathlon & here’s what he said.

‘Horses have been a part of my life since a teenager and over the years I have taken part in showjumping, dressage and team chasing and since my mid twenties I have been a British Showjumping course designer, and occasionally commentator. Whilst I love course designing, it is now part of my life, rather than my life. As for sitting on a horse, absolutely never again!’

About 7 years ago a friend asked me whether I could swim, knowing I did some running and cycling, the answer was yes ! So in 2016 I started taking part (and enjoying) duathlons and triathlons, along the way taking part in a fabulous town centre duathlon in Stockton, the 2018 Weymouth 70.3 Ironman in truly atrocious weather conditions and many more besides.

In 2019 I achieved some decent times, such that I was looking forward to moving into the next age group (60-65) in 2020, and perhaps qualifying for the European Age Group European Final, but then the pandemic got in the way, I stopped training, got less fit and much fatter ! It is only now that I have regained the enthusiasm for again taking part in duathlons and triathlons and I look forward to heading off again around the country, and perhaps qualifying for the European Age Group Final, albeit 5 years after my original intention !

In 2021 I was at one of Ben’s events; the Bicton duathlon, and one of his team asked me if I knew anybody who could commentate at future Sportiva events. A few days later I messaged Ben and suggested he might want to give me a go, and since then have done many events for him, including his amazing triathlons at Torbay Leisure, where the facilities, including the Velpopark, are second to none. This is where I came across the Torbay Tri club, which despite living 80 miles away, I have just joined.

My aim as a commentator is to provide as much information as possible and to give “shout out’s” as competitors run past me, obtaining the information from the laptops which plot competitor progress. In addition, I love to wish “happy birthday” to competitors and their family and friends, I particularly enjoy encouraging “first timers” to help them feel included and very much part of the event, and it is always good to announce details of other events taking place in the region, particularly if being put on by local clubs, like for instance Torbay Tri Club. So, on Sunday if there is anything you would like me to announce, don’t be shy, come along and say hello, provide the info, and I’ll do the rest.

I cannot wait to be part of Ben’s team again at Dawlish, and I don’t know whether you know, but Sportiva Events were the recipient earlier this year from Triathlon England of the Award for “Best National Children’s” Event and “Best Small Event”, truly deserved by Ben and his team.’


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