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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Rex Thompson clocks up 30 years

Rex Thompson clocks up 30 years

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1 Rex Thompson clocks up 30 years on Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:15 pm



Perfect timing Rex
by Jane Whitford
The Guardian Messenger
22 November 2011

KEEPING TIME: Rex Thomson has been the Bay Sheffield's
timekeeper for more than 30 years.

FOR more than 30 years, Rex Thomson and his trusty stopwatch have been a permanent fixture on the Bay Sheffield finish line.

The Clovelly Park resident has been the event’s timekeeper since 1981, and after the introduction of computerised timing, he still records the back-up time each year.

“Concentrating is obviously a big part of the job and it can be very nerve-wracking because the last thing you want to do is make a mistake,” Mr Thompson said.

“We’re talking about a thousandth of a second and four or five people crossing the line together.

“It’s often impossible to call it, so it’s great to have technology rather than just picking it with the naked eye, which is what we had to do in the old days.”

The 55-year-old, who was awarded life membership of the SA Athletics League in 1995, says he became an official by accident.

“My brother Gary was running one year and he came up and said one of the judges hadn’t turned up and could I step in - and that was it.”

“I’ve met some wonderful people and it’s something I take a lot of pride in.”

With 30 races under his belt, Mr Thompson can reel off finishing times, runners and the event’s greatest races in a flash, but he can’t go past his first Bay Sheff.

“(1981) was the first Bay Sheff that I ever timed and I really enjoyed it,” he said.

“It was won by Anthony Tohl and his son Damian won the race in 2007 which I also timed, so it was pretty special to see a father and a son both win the event.

“I think this year, with the 125-year celebration, is going to be very special,” he said.

“The prizemoney will bring runners from all over the globe and I think it’s going to be one great race.”

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