Arenas across the country at parkrun

There were Arenas in action as far as the eye could see this weekend with no less than eight parkruns recording an Arena runner in their results.

Locally, Brighton & Preston Park saw the highest numbers with thirteen a-piece. Neil Fulkes recorded a course PB in Hove Park of 23:50 whilst Helena Rooney set her own course PB at Preston Park with an impressive 20:37. Great to see two Arena ladies in the top five female finishers with Nicky Yeates being the fifth lady home in 22:35. A big shout out has to go to Alan Garnham who completed his 250th parkrun and his 25th volunteering stint pacing 30 mins, crossing the line in 30:02. Well done Alan!

Congratulations to Tara Shanahan who was first lady home over in Hove Park with a time of 19:30, closely followed over the line by Andy Paterson, a mere one second later!

Over at Hove Prom, centre stage goes to Holly Freeman (AKA Adur Challenge Queen) who gained a course PB despite a challenging head wind at times, to record 25:55, one of seven Arena runners taking part.

Up at Bevendean, we were represented by Andrew Clark and Juliet Fine with the former coming home in 5th position and Juliet 3rd female.


Meanwhile over at Lymington parkrun, five Arena tourists made themselves at home with two Team GB Sailors in attendance in recognition of #Teamparkrun, but it was all about the two Carolines stealing the show with Caroline Hoyte AND Caroline Wood setting new age category records for WW45-49 and VW50-54 respectively. Just for good measure, Caroline H set the female course record and was first lady home… not a bad morning all round then! You can see a full list of their record holders here

Keeping up the “first lady” theme, Emily Hutchinson called in to Shorne Woods parkrun and was promptly the first lady home in 19:56 to add to an already impressive list of first lady finishes at six different parkruns.

Lucy Anderson was another who found herself rubbing shoulders with a member of Team GB when she met Olympian Sophie Ainsworth when she visited Kesgrave parkrun.  It must have proved inspiring for young Anderson as she finished well inside the top third of the runners, and even had time to wave to the camera!


Last but by no means least, the Silvester Staycation Roadshow rolled into Coventry with Al lining up at the start with another 623 runners! Unperturbed, Al grabbed a top three finish with a speedy 17:55

Well done to all 37 Arena 80 runners who took part in a parkrun this week! Keep us informed of where you’re going and when so we can keep on sharing the news!

Get to know…Julie Drake

Brutal 10, Women’s only

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the lady who recently popped up in the club history series. This dog loving athlete has represented GB many times and took part in the Tokyo Olympics so this girl has pedigree and class. A lover of everything outdoors and the main instigator of the Arena annual camping trips, you will often find Julie running over the hills with her dog, Amber. Lets find out a little more about Julie Drake.

Name: Julie Drake

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined Arena in 1999. I was a member of Brighton & Hove AC at the time with two toddlers but due to work/childcare issues could no longer make Tuesday/Thursday night club training night’s so I starting attending Arena Monday and Wednesday night sessions.

2. How long have you been running:
Far too long … 36 years . I started in 1981 when I was 12 years old. I’m still running in 2017, but rather a lot slower.

3. Where did you grow up:
I’m a local girl. Born in Westdene and lived all my life in Brighton.

4. What was the best thing about growing up as a kid:
Being out and about playing with friends all the time. In my day as a kid we only had a couple of hours of kids tv a day and no computer games so my time was spend doing interesting things.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Taking Amber my dog out for walks and canicross runs, lots of wild camping in my motor home, cooking and playing golf. I also enjoy partaking in wine and beer tasting.

6. What’s the one song that gets you up out of your seat:
Pharrell Williams – Happy.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
The St Albans Stampede (12 hr Enduro relay over 3.8 mile lap). My boyfriend and I ran it last year and surprisingly came 2nd. He ran 39 miles and I ran 36 miles. We are heading back there in September to try and do better.

8. Have you any bugbears:
Obsessively checking how much battery power I have left in my motor home. I’ve now had a solar panel fitted so my obsession is easing.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Steve Ovett. My primary school teacher was a member of Phoenix AC and brought his Moscow Olympic gold medal into the class to show us in 1980.

10. What would your epitaph say:
She never stopped running until the end.

11. What’s the best thing about living in Brighton:
Living so close to the South Downs and Stanmer Park. I’ve always trained off-road so Brighton is a perfect place to live for me.

12. What are you most looking forward to in 2017
: Of course it’s the Arena 80 camping trip. 18th-22nd August at Hollands Wood Campsite, Brockenhurst. Lots of running, cycling, socialising, eating and drinking.

13. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:

14. What was the first song you ever purchased (be truthful):
Message in a Bottle by The Police.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I’m a life member of Brighton & Hove City AC which I gained from representing GB at the World Championships in Toyko in 1991. My event then was 10000m walk but I was also quite a good runner in my day and won the Brighton Half Marathon.

16. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you choose to be:
Parked up somewhere scenic in my motor home eating home cooked food and drinking nice cold cava.

17. What has been your biggest achievement in your life so far:
Breaking 3 hours for my first road marathon. This was London 1992 and I ran 2hr 58:22. I got back into training as a new years resolution and did 3 months of serious training of 50-60 miles a week for it. Before this I’d lost interest in training and had a few months off which involved lots of partying and being normal.

18. Who would you choose to be marooned on a desert island with:
My boyfriend Richard. He’s not an Arena runner but he is a fellow bus driver and I found out that he was a running a few years ago at the South Downs Relay. He’s a hasher.

19. Is there anything that you are scared of:
Running with Amber in Stanmer Park woods on my own in the dark. We have recently started running in the dark on Hollingbury Golf Course which I can handle as we stay on the farways, which are open, as much as possible.

20. If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive who would you choose:
Chris ‘Moyleman’ Moyle my running friend who died from cancer in 2009. In November I’m planning on running my 250th Parkrun on Chris’ 50th birthday weekend. Ashley Head (Chris’ good mate and the Moyleman race founder) and Cam Moyle (Chris’ sister and also a fellow running friend and ex school mate). It would be a very special occasion to all be reunited for one dinner.

Our biggest thanks to Julie for her Q&A’s this week and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know Julie a little better now. Check back next Wednesday for another set of Q&A’s with our chosen club member.


Weekend parkrun round up

With the return of two parkrun events following last week’s cancellations, the opportunity for Arena runners to spread their wings far and wide was taken up this week with 37 runners taking part at 5 different parkruns.

Brighton (Hove Park) saw the highest number of runners with 16 members tackling the course, between them amassing a total of 2,844 parkruns! Next saw Preston Park hosting 10 of our runners, whilst Worthing saw the debut of Michele Saunders with a very respectable 30:25 along the seafront, along with another 3 members of our club.

Sole running representative over at Bevendean Down, Caroline Wood powered home as first lady (3rd overall), after rubbing shoulders with parkrun founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt out on the course.

If it was PBs you were after, Hove Prom was the place to be. Chris Keene was the highest place Arena coming in 15th with a PB of 20:22; it seems there may have been a little bit of internal club competition as Helena Rooney and John Thompson came over the line in 19th and 20th respectively, both sharing the time of 20:50, a PB for John!

Well done to everyone who took part this weekend – don’t forget you can check out all of the club records here



The Kings Head Canter 5k – Message from Dan Vaughan

A message from our road race Captain – Dan Vaughan

At the end of this month it’s the best 5k road race in Sussex – the Kings Head Canter, 11am, Bank Holiday Monday (28th August). It is an Arena Super Series race as well as well as the third event of 2017’s Harvey Curtis Sussex Road Race Challenge.

We are the current holders of the trophy, and lead the rankings after 2 of this year’s 6 races, so the odds of us retaining the most prestigious team road race trophy this side of the Channel and south of Surrey are shortening by the day.

Can I ask that if you are able to run, that you think about turning out for this race for the club. The more runners we have out the more it helps with positions and points. This is for all abilities and not just the fast guys. Your club needs you and wouldn’t it be great to be part of a potential winning team.

Full details can be found here:

Get to know…Jo Marshall / Ricky Coleman

Love on a mountain top.

For this weeks chosen club member we are have two for the price of one today. Surely one of the nicest couple’s I have ever met. It’s rare to find two people so suited at such a young age. They have a love of animals (some would say a house like Noah’s Ark) a love for adventure and a love for each other. Watching these two grow with their running since they joined Arena has been a pleasure to watch and there times prove that they are doing something right in their training sessions. Jo is a keen photographer and Ricky is just keen for everything. They are a pleasure to hang out with and two very gentle souls. Let’s find out what rocks their world.

Name: Jo Marshall and Ricky Coleman

1. When and why did you join Arena:
Jo & Ricky: September 2016, to up our game!

2. How long have you been running:
Jo: My first 10k was in 2013 but I didn’t run for a year after that because I was too traumatised.
Ricky:  My first Half Marathon was in 2009 (Hastings) but I’d say I’ve been running properly since 2015

3. Where did you grow up:
Jo: Kenilworth, a small town in the Midlands
Ricky:  Down the coast in Hastings

4. What do the last five words of the last text sent to you say:
Jo: ‘Can you get a pineapple? ‘ From Ricky for his signature pizza
Ricky: just having tea

5. What types of holidays do you prefer:
Jo: Active ones, preferably with a mountain or two in sight
Ricky: Road trips, hoping from hostel to hostel

6. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Jo: Anything outdoors – hiking, camping, skiing, climbing, etc. I also really enjoy DIY!
Ricky: Definitely not watching Love Island. Er I love reading and I follow lots of different sports

7. What would your epitaph say:
Jo: eco-warrior
Ricky:  could argue with his own shadow

8. Tell us about something you would happily do again:
Jo: Do a road trip in the Canadian Rockies
Ricky: Go white water kayaking in the Alps, living off fresh bread and cheese for weeks

9. What makes you bored:
Jo: Politics
Ricky: When the football season ends

10. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up:
Jo: Sugar
Ricky: Peanut butter

11. What were you like a school:
Jo: An average Joe. Always came last at sports day.
Ricky: Bit of a joker with a short attention span

12. What is your one weakness:
Jo:  Funny cat videos
Ricky: I have to have the last word

13. Who was you first celebrity crush pop star and film star:
Jo: Zac Efron
Ricky: Tom Hardy

14. What are the three most used apps on your phone: 
Jo: BBC news, Strava, Facebook
Ricky: Facebook, Whatsapp and the Guardian

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you
Jo: I used to ring church bells. I only gave up so I could run more.
Ricky: I was once arrested and detained in Singapore for a short time when travelling

16. Who is your sporting hero:
Jo: Ricky – he is good at everything!
Ricky:  Bradley Wiggins, he just oozes class and has achieved lots across so many different bike racing disciplines (sorry Jo!)

17. What one thing do you like to do the most:
Jo: Make a good spreadsheet
Ricky: Win a sprint finish at parkrun (although it’s definitely not a race)

18. What’s the best thing about living in Brighton:
Jo: The south downs on our doorstep!
Ricky: Being smug about it to anyone that doesn’t live here…

19. What was the best thing about 2016 for you:
Jo: Buying a flat so we could get our guinea pigs!
Ricky: Qualifying as a solicitor

20. What are you most looking forward to in 2017:
Jo: My holidays – Croatia and India
Ricky: Seeing Royal Blood at the Brighton Centre

Our biggest thanks to Jo & Ricky for their Q&A’s this week and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know them a little better. Check back next Wednesday for another set of Q&A’s with our chosen club member.

New improvements to the parkrun club records 06.08.2017

Due to events going on in Brighton this weekend, it meant there was no Hove Prom or Preston Park parkruns this weekend which gave members a chance to try alternative parkruns which they wouldn’t normally venture out to.

Firstly over to Worthing where it proved fruitful for our guys. There were 5 first timers, 2 new PB’s, 2 new improvements to the women’s parkrun club records, a new entry into the women’s age grading records, 1 improvement to the men’s records and a new record for the men’s age grading for this course.

Well done to Del Wallace, Paul Gasson, Tara Shanahan, Rebecca Knights and Stephen Knott for their first time here.

Congratulations to Dan Vaughan who is the first of today’s PB’s. Dan Came home in 18.18 beating his previous best of 18.19 set in May this year.

Next is the ever improving Lorraine Hale who takes another barrier down as she goes under the 23 minute mark. Her new PB time of 22.51 eclipses her previous best of 23.41 set in March this year so definitely showing some decent improvement and the training is paying off.

On to the club records:
The run saw James Dicks as 3rd overall in 16.39 and just 10s off his previous best. The women faired extremely well taking 1s t Tara, 3rd Rebecca, 5th Jenny and 6th Isobel.

It’s Tara Shanahan and Rebecca Knights that tale the glory though as they both now become a part of the Worthing parkrun Women’s club records. Tara fires herself into 2nd place with her time of 19.07 and Rebecca Knights follows suit to go 3rd in the table with her time of 19.44. Tara also outs herself into the age grading records in 3rd place with her age grading set at 84.74% so a great day for Tara.

In the men’s section we say well done to Del Wallace who had a cracking run with his time of 17.35 to take his place in the hall of fame and take the 5th place in the men’s table.

Paul Gasson who is the man who just keeps on giving to the age grading records, marks yet another top spot with his time of 20.24 which in terms of age grading gives him a 80.72% grading and now tops the table here. Paul now holds the top position for age grading at Hove Prom, Bevendean, Preston Park and 2nd at Brighton & Hove and just proves that age is just a number #inspiring.  

Here are the new club records:

Worthing parkrun Women 
1 Emily Proto 2016 17m 39s
2 Tara Shanahan 2017 19m 07s
3 Rebecca Knights 2017 19m 44s
4 Caroline Wood 2016 19m 59s
5 Isobel Muir 2017 20m 57s

Age grading
1 Caroline Wood – 87.16%
2 Jenny Hughes – 85.18%
3 Tara Shanahan – 84.74%
Emily Proto – 83.85%
5 Louise Payne – 80.60%

On to Bevendean Down parkrun and this also proved to be just as successful with 3 new PB’s and a new entry into the age grading records.

The ladies took 1st,2nd and 3rd  places in the form of Caroline wood 22.36, Jackie Rymell 23.55 and Georgia Steers 24.56. Jackie Rymell’s time was a new PB beating her previous best of 24.24 set in august 2016.

Georgia Steers also took a new PB for this course and beat her previous best of 25.59 set in March 2016.

Mark Brocklehurst completes the hat trick at Bevendean with his new PB time of 28.21 beating his previous best of 29.07 set just two weeks ago.

Jackie Rymell’s time is enough to move her one place in the table to 4th place and she makes it a double by also entering the age grading club records in 4th spot with her age grading  being 73.73% so huge congrats to Jackie.

The women’s club records for Bevendean now look like this:

Bevendean Down parkrun Women
1 Tara Shanahan 2017 21m 12s
2 Katherine O’Hara 2016 21m 24s
3 Caroline Wood 2016 21m 35s
4 Jackie Rymell 2017 23m 55s
5 Nicky Yeates 2017 24m 19s

Age grading
1 Caroline Wood – 80.08%
2 Nicky Yeates – 78.68%
3 Tara Shanahan – 76.42%
4 Jackie Rymell – 73.73%
5 Katherine O’Hara – 72.43%

A huge congratulations to all of the above on some fine running and to all our other athletes that took part in the various parkruns this weekend.

You can find all the club records here:

Arena running kit – offer and link

Viga Sportswear

This is the company we use for all of our Arena kit.

They are presently offering, with every purchase from the Viga Arena 80 site, a Mobile Phone Arm Holder free of Charge worth £6-99. This offer is only valid until the end of August. The phone holder will automatically be added to any order you make.

They have also mentioned that the Viga Pacer Short which is featured on our Arena 80 section is their best selling short which includes the Arena club name

You can see all the kit available here;

We have also added a link to the website. If you hover over ‘contact’ there will be a drop down to ‘club kit’.

Arena 80 Volleyball Tournament 2017 – Friday 18th August

So back by popular demand is this year’s annual Volleyball competition.
The fifth annual Arena 80 volleyball mini tournament has now been booked, so please put the date in your diaries, (see below). The last two years have seen a fantastic turnout with more than 40 people and 6 teams.

Lee Turnbull has been virtually unbeatable as team captain and has won this event three times – 2013/15/16. In 2014 Mary Henderson broke the trend as she captained the winning team and celebrated their victory with champagne. So is there a team captain out there that thinks they can break the invincible Lee Turnbull? The gauntlet has now been laid down.

The details:
Event: The fifth annual ARENA 80 Beach Volleyball tournament at Yellowave (YW)

Date: Friday 18th August 2017
Time: Two courts are booked from 7-9pm, arrive from 6.30pm
The Club is paying for the hire of the courts and prizes (thank you Arena 80), so you will just need money for food/drinks.
Please let me know if you are coming by pinging me an email at – please also let me know if you have a particular desire to be a captain in an attempt to lead your team to victory..
You are also more than welcome to come and help facilitate the tournament or just come for a drink if you don’t fancy playing.
Partners/friends are welcome but this will depend on numbers as Arena members will take priority. This is a wonderful sociable evening to share with your fellow members and a top evening to chat and have fun. For the newer members of Arena 80 then you should certainly think about coming along as a great opportunity to get to know others in the club and you do not have to be good at volleyball.
Please can you state your volleyball level within the email – e.g.
Expert (play all the time),
Novice, (I am quite good and play occasionally), or
Beginner (I have never played, or only once or twice in the past).
We do need a minimum of 20 people for it to go ahead. I have created an event in the arena Facebook group, please join this if you are coming.
We have a very tight deadline on this one so could you please let me know ASAP and no later than Friday 4th August please as I need to know numbers and organise the teams. A quick response will really be appreciated in order to help me get things going.
Thanks all
Holly x