Established in April 2019, Medaltime brings together an already well established and professional admin team specialising in custom made medals with Paul Selby, founder of 1000km Promotions, who supplied the world market with medals from South Africa for nearly 25 years.
Paul emigrated from the UK to South Africa in 1971 and established a sales company from ‘the boot of his car’ specialising in tools and abrasives. He went on not only to produce tungsten carbide cutting tools in SA but also export all over the world, earning prestigious State President export awards in 1983 and 1986, the latter being presented by FW de Klerk. This previous SA President was made famous for his work with Nelson Mandela in ending apartheid shortly thereafter. Selco Tools grew to over 130 employees and was eventually sold to the German Company Lucas in 1990.
Then Paul embarked on running competitions including the 1000km Challenge in memory of his Benoni Harriers Running Club Chairman Johnny Kambouris who died tragically in a motor car accident. The competition is still being run right up until this day. There is also a fairy tale element as Paul got to know Jenny Kambouris through the competition and married her a few years later. Jenny is well known by many Race Organisers and AIMS members and, apart from always being there for Paul, she has become something of a South African icon herself managing an AIDS orphan project in one of the South African townships and also due to her animal rescue work both of which she is still doing.
Having been introduced to running through a Company Relay, Paul soon recognised the fact that in South Africa there was a need for good quality medals and decided that if all that race organisers could supply were sub-standard products, then it was time to make them himself and at least be rewarded a good quality product when completing a marathon! So ever since those early days, Paul applied an acid test by asking himself, “What quality of medal would I be happy to receive when completing the race?”
Paul’s marathon running became more challenging when his first wife was diagnosed with cancer in the 90’s and he decided to attempt the running of a “Double Comrades Marathon“ for charity and completed the 180kms in under 21 hours running the second return down run leg with the official event itself. As if this challenge was not enough, Paul was one of 6 athletes chosen to run 1000 miles in 1000 hours in association with the Flora London Marathon in 2003 which in effect was running 39 marathons daily with a maximum of 60 minutes sleep at any one time culminating with, 1 hour after completion of the 1000 miles, racing the London Marathon. Paul says his winning the male section was the most wonderful moment in his life when he was awarded his trophy along with Paula Radcliffe who had just set up a new world women’s record for the marathon which she holds to this day.
Paul’s running was somewhat curtailed during 1986 with a serious ankle breakage and the onset of cancer. Then came a hip replacement plus a heart condition known as atrial fibrillations leading to several heart procedures. During this time, Paul says that he has been leading a much more spiritual life as he has come to realise a ‘bigger picture’ and it is due to many wonderful experiences that he feels the need to continue his journey in a sport that has never failed to challenge based on the philosophy that one never bails a race that one starts. This he has applied whilst completing almost 700 marathon and Ultra marathons alone. So each marathon is like a day in one’s life where we all have to battle it out to the end, the difference being that each marathon ends with a medal and each day should end with the knowledge that the journey has positively affected many people on route!
Paul says that despite his health ailments, he has managed to qualify to run his 25th Comrades Marathon on his birthday this year and “Medaltime” offers a wonderful opportunity for him to further his involvement in the industry with an organisation already well established in Europe supported by an amazing backup team.