I was born in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and lived in Germany and Japan. I have travelled extensively both for business and pleasure throughout the world. My working life started as a radio DJ/announcer where I worked for 10 years before moving into radio station general management and holding the title of Station Manager of Good Hope FM for 5 years. After leaving radio, I moved into magazine publishing in the sports industry – specifically in cycling, running and triathlon as Publisher of Runner’s World and Bicycling Magazines. My experience also includes extensive TV presenting and voice work.
Interesting facts about me
Number of sporting codes : 10
Number of countries : 23
Number of 70.3 : 52
Number of IM : 49
Paul Kaye is a man who has seen it all: Elation as weary athletes reach the finish line to become Ironmen and women, sorrow as the last athletes wearily try to drag their bodies across the finish line before missing the cut-off time, and those unique moments, such as the marriage proposals and the ecstasy of pro’s setting new world records on home soil!
Not a bad job at all, you would think. But though it all sounds pretty glamorous and fun, it takes hard work and a special type of person to announce at gruelling distance events that takes many hours, such as Ironman, Two Oceans and Comrades, all races where Paul has left his mark on many an athlete.
The events at which Paul works are some of the biggest of their kind in the world including; The Cape Town Cycle Tour, ABSA Cape Epic MTB Race, Volvo Ocean Yacht Race, The Comrades Marathon, ITU World Triathlon Cape Town, Standard Bank, IRONMAN African Championship, IRONMAN 70.3 European Championships, Go-Pro IRONMAN World Championship, All African Waterski Championships, The London to Paris Cycle Race, The J&B Met.
BECOMING AN IRONMAN
In 2000 Paul was invited to Mauritius for a triathlon. “All the pro’s were there and they were all saying I was a big mouth, but have never done a triathlon myself! That’s when I realised my waistline was expanding and I can’t live forever. My son was about to be born and I realised I needed to get fit if I wanted to be an active, participating father.”
He did his first triathlon in a Speedo and Energade event T-shirt! “I had to swim breaststroke most of the way before getting out the water second-last. I got on my mountain bike with its bent frame and again got off second-last. Eventually the only person that finished behind me was a woman.”
In between announcing, Paul started participating in more tri’s. To cope with the stress of divorce in 2005, Paul decided to train even harder. “In 2006 my wife advised me she will be leaving the country with our two kids. Announcing at Ironman in 2007 was extremely hard and emotional for me, as I saw athletes crossing the finish line with their kids. I set myself a goal to also finish Ironman with my kids.”
Paul got an invitation to race the 10th anniversary of Ironman Austria and reaching the finish line, his dream came true. His kids were waiting for him. “My daughter was 15 at the time and I thought she would be way to cool to finish with me. But there she was in an Ironman T-shirt next to my son, who even gelled his hair for the occasion. My pain was gone and I crossed the finish line holding my two kids’ hands.”
In 2009 Paul met the love of his life, Kelly, at a Ken and Barbie Valentine’s Party for singles. “Every Ken had to bring a Barbie and every Barbie had to bring a Ken they were unattached to.” Paul and Kelly, who met the day before, decided to go together. After ending up in the party’s kissing booth, they were inseparable. Kelly, who worked as a stewardess on a luxury yacht, decided to work one more contract on the boat before settling, which meant Paul needed another distraction! He started training for Ironman Austria and in 2009 became a double Ironman, with Kelly cheering him on.
THE UPS AND DOWNS
As in any job, there are ups and downs, like the time when Paul had to announce at Ironman Nice after finding out that morning that his mom had passed away. “I had to fake it. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done.”
When announcing Paul allows the energy of the event to inspire him. “I try to look into people’s eyes, see their emotions and watch their body language. That has often inspired me to do things and say things. I don’t go to the finish line with a script, it just happens.”
Are the emotions of elites and Average Joe’s any different? “For the elites, they make a living out of it. The age groupers are ordinary people achieving something extraordinary. When I entered Ironman, I did so to test my limits, I wanted to know if I could sink to depths that I thought were impossible and then come out the other side? Ironman taught me all of that. Everybody that does Ironman learns something about themselves. Ordinary people all have a story.”
Paul believes triathlon is a growing sport in South African and that more runners are converting. “I go to all the sporting expos and from a mile away I see how many runners are converting to triathlons. Runners will try swimming and cycling, but it seems as if cyclists are very set in their ways, while runners are more open to change and adventure.”
Some excerpts above have been taken from a Modern Athlete article