01 Sep 2016Nick Thomas - Obituary
Rest in Peace Nick Thomas 28 August 1971 – 28 August 2016
“Our friend Nick Thomas left us whilst doing what he loved - he just kept going. He'll always be a part of what we do, and who we are.” The warm tribute from Enduroman Events, the organisation behind the ultimate triathlon of running swimming and cycling from London to Paris, were just one of many kind messages, which travelled the globe on the news of 45 year-old Nick’s sudden and unexpected passing.
Nick Thomas or “#19” as he was known, after becoming the 19th person to complete “Arch to Arc” triathlon had achieved this distinction on 1 September 2014. Nick was so proud to have been awarded the Enduroman #19 tag, that he had it tattooed on his calf.
On Saturday 27 August, he was less than a mile from completing his second solo swim of the English Channel when he collapsed in the water. Nick lost the battle for life later that night. And we in the distance event community lost a sporting soul.
Nick was very much a part of the Enduroman family and also the Channel Swimming community. He was also well known in his home base in Ellesmere, a distant jog for Nick from the birthplace of Captain Matthew Webb, the first swimmer to cross the English Channel.
He had been the Chairperson of Ellesmere’s Tri-Smart running club, and in 2011 the club were “proud as a club to be able to say we have an Ultraman amongst us and Nick did everyone proud with his incredible effort.”
Many would have witnessed Nick’s sporting qualities; he was in the top of the 10 hour zone for the ironman, and also excelled in the marathon with times close to the three hour mark. By 2010, Nick had completed 17 ironman events in five years. He represented Great Britain in his age group at the World Duathlon Championships and also at the European Long Distance Triathlon Championships. He had swam the channel in a wetsuit in a time of 15 hours and 34 minutes, during his Arch to Arc.
Nick also had an excellent reputation in the Construction Industry and had successfully ran his own business, NJT Construction, for close to 20 years.’ He recognised and rewarded talent, and he gave young people an opportunity; one online curriculum vitae by an award winning apprentice bricklayer, made positive reference to his time working for Nick’s firm. Nick was talented and determined and had great mental strength in many fields. His gift for sharing was total and unconditional.
Aside from work and family, Nick was dedicated to volume training for whatever was his next scheduled event. He frequently wore his Welsh colours on his kit and for sure he was a dragon with fire in the belly.
Aged 45, Nick has been taken away far too soon. Nick won many prizes and plaudits, and is survived by the best gifts life gave him, which are his wife Karen and their two children Ashley and Sarah Jane.