Arena runners shine at the Virgin Money London Marathon


London Marathon day is the time it seems the whole world stops and takes in interest in running, be it cheering on friends and family, watching on the TV, or for some, taking on the streets of the capital. As the eyes of the world were on London, the eyes of an eager club member, fresh from high-fiving several thousand runners at the Red Start in Greenwich, were firmly focused on those streets in the search for Arena vests….and boy did our boys and girls not disappoint!


15 Arena 80 runners made it to the start line on a cool morning – ideal conditions for marathon running. Traditionally, as the runners head towards Canary Wharf on the last stage of the event, this is where the day, the miles and (in places) the heat can get to you. Someone forgot to tell the Arena folk as there were a number of noticeably strong looking runners that came into view there. Kudos to Al Silvester, Mark O’Gara, Dan Vaughan and Dorian Rogers as they stormed past the 18 mile point looking like runners on a mission! Tara Shanahan & Marcus Escott casually trotted past enjoying a full on conversation, before going on to record tremendous finishing times. A PB today too for Nicky “PB” Yeates, another whom passed looking relaxed and confident. Some of you were just too quick for these eyes to see but it was good to see Andrew Bargery, Joel Epstein and Stephen Johnson go past in the blink of an eyelid.

Role of Honour

Here are the official results from the Virgin Money London Marathon website:

Congratulations to everyone who took part! We might let you off track tomorrow!

Arena men take team prize for splash point 5k

Jim hadn’t quite got the hang od the synchronised running.

Congratulations to our men’s team who took 1st place in the Splashpoint Worthing 5k on Wednesday 19th April.

The Arena men were:
Michael Barker was 2nd in 17.02
Del Wallace was 3rd in 17.17
Jim Risdale was 4th in 17.20
and completing the line up for Arena was Paul Arscott in 7th in 18.14

With four Areneez in the top 7 places, that really is top team work from the boys.

The 4th Super Series race, Saturday 29th April – Preston Park parkrun

The next Super Series race of this year is the age graded Preston Park parkrun on Saturday 29th April starting at 9am. This is an age graded race which makes for a more open race.

Last year’s age graded winners for this event were:
Women’s: Caroline wood – Time 20.25 – age grading of 85.31%
Men’s: Paul Gasson – Time 19.41 – age grading of 82.90%

Just a reminder of the rules for the Super Series:
There are 16 scoring events in the Super Series.

  • It’s one race each month with your best 6 events to count.
  • The selected races incorporate different levels of standard, distances, terrain and leagues.
  • Club vests/t-shirts as appropriate MUST be worn in non-club events and runners must enter as Arena 80.
  • You must take part in at least 6 to be considered for a prize.

Prizes for the Super Series will be for both Men and Women categories as agreed here by the committee.
1st – £25 + free membership 2017/18
2nd – £15
3rd – £10
Lowest points score for all races £15

Scoring: The 1st Arena person home will receive 1 point, 2nd will get 2 points etc. 30 points for every race missed.
There are separate men’s and women’s categories.

The class of 2016. Who will be there for 2017?

The next Super Series race is the A80 track 3k event at Withdean on Monday 8th May. 

For a full list of this year’s Super Series races click here:

Race report of the Antarctica Marathon 2017 by Luan Ke Huynh

For those that remember Luan from Denmark, he has kindly sent us a great race report on his marathon of a lifetime, that being the Antarctica Marathon that he ran in March of this year. Luan trained with Arena for the Spring/Summer of 2016 before he had to return to Denmark. A talented runner who had gained much respect from his peers during his time with us and was a great asset to the Arena team. This is an amazing read and we thank Luan for taking the time to share his story with us.

Antarctica marathon 2017
Dear members of Arena 80,
Thank you for taking the time to read my race report about my Antarctica trip. The landscape and wild life were amazing and I highly recommend it. For me it was definitely worth the money and the 4 years in the waiting. The total price was about £7500 (flight tickets from/to Europe, package deal: 2-3 nights in Buenos Aires, flight to/from Ushuaia and 10-11 days cruise), race number, kayaking and tips. But you can easily go cheaper with other companies and just do the cruise.

The physical and mental Preparation:
After my return to Denmark in November/December I have been focusing a lot on adding the long runs into my training. I was happy to see my running groups again and there was a lot of catching up to do. As my long runs started making progress, I began wondering if it was realistic to actually win the marathon. I tried not to set my expectations too high and just stayed focus on my 3:30 finish time, due to several warnings of unpredictable weather conditions. Because of that I bought thick winter tights, full face mask, waterproof socks and some “spikes” for my shoes. I didn’t tell my running mates back home, that I was thinking about winning but some of them could already tell that I was going for it and actually “expected” me to win. Even the chef on the ship told me the day before the marathon, that he is putting his money on me and a couple told me after the marathon that they already talked about me winning the race so no pressure then.

The trip itself:
The group met at a posh hotel in Buenos Aires and I was quite surprised, that were so many Americans. At the briefing I scanned the crowd looking for fast runners but we all know that these kinds of things are hard to tell. I quickly came across an American with a sub 2.40 PB. He was also running his last continent marathon. He told me that he had been injured recently and that he wasn’t used to the cold, because he lives in Florida and runs only on road. but I wasn’t sure if he was just playing mind games, but then who hasn’t made up an argument for not running a good race? Guess we all play mind game one way or another and I know I do. The thing was it worked, as I couldn’t see myself winning the race anymore. A PB on 2.40 and my PB (3:03) is a huge gap and I changed my mind-set to just completing the marathon instead, which was my original plan from the very first beginning.

The first two days on the ship were horrible. Basically everybody got sea sick and the crew even told us, that we were lucky with the weather. I wonder how it would be, if it was normal or bad weather. Many of us slept most of the days as there were no reason to be walking around anyway feeling sick. At that time I couldn’t believe that I had actually paid so much money for getting sea sick and even worse and I was afraid of how it would affect my race.

On the marathon morning I was tense as usual. The morning routines went well, as we got into the zodiacs transporting us to the King George Island for the race.  The weather was good – 0 Celsius +/- the wind chill = -10 Celsius. The organisers told me not to wear my spikes, as they would only slow me down. Also I decided to wear my normal long socks, instead of the water proofs one I had bought, due to the good weather plus my thick winter tights, 3 layers, a full mask, buff plus an extra hat. The course itself was 6 laps off-road in a hilly, muddy and rocky terrain. I started out at the back of the group but ended up at the front during the first mile as  I decided to ignore my planned 3:30 finish time pace. I guess I feared losing sight of the frontrunners, which was quite absurd, as we were running in laps and unconsciously, I took the chance to follow the American with the sub 2.40 PB even though I knew it was unrealistic to keep that kind of pace the entire way. We kept a solid and consist 3.09 finish time pace up until mile 15. He started to slow down while I kept the same pace up until mile 20. The worse part of the course was the rocky terrain. I twisted my ankle 3 times (luckily I’ve got strong ankles) and because I wasn’t wearing trail shoes, the rocks went through my lightweight shoes several times hurting my toes. My thighs and calf muscles were starting to get into cramp mode simultaneously and it was only a matter of time before I had to go into walk/run pace. Every time we crossed a U-turn, I started to count seconds, until I passed the guy in 2nd place this gave me an idea how far ahead I was. After a couple of times, I quickly lost count and the outcome due to fatigue and every time I got on top of a hill, I looked back to spot the guy in 2nd place. I began seeing two black big rings in my vision and I told myself that it just wasn’t worth it (I had an eye surgery in my twenties). I would now accept If the guy in 2nd place passed me then so be it as coming first was simply not worth it anymore. During half way of lap 6 I realised I still had a chance to win, as I hadn’t been passed yet. The feeling of disappointment of being passed hit me and I knew that I would be so gutted if I didn’t win this one, so I just had to win this. When I got to the last ½ mile, I knew I was the winner and asked, quite impolitely, for a chair as I really needed to sit down. Besides the fact that my legs were numb, I was desperate for something to eat. I just couldn’t focus on anything, taking my running shoes off and putting on my clothes and the boots for the zodiac took forever. A crew member and a half marathon finisher (who happened to live close to Brighton by the way) had to help me, I have never felt so helpless in my entire life.

Clearly a different class of spectator compared to that of Brighton.

The days after the race:
Even though I’m very happy winning the Antarctica Marathon, I’m equally as happy, if not happier with my projected finish time. For me this is actually the first time I have run a marathon faster than expected. Going from overcoming injuries, to get back in to shape, when I lived in Brighton, to even completing 26.2 miles, to chase parkrun and 10 PBs and to actually win the Antarctica Marathon, is more than I could ever ask for. It’s also a matter of luck, such as your fellow runner’s levels on race day. But luck is an invisible thing, you only get it if you chase it. Nevertheless I was there and I won. The day after I arrived in Aalborg I went to the track for a quick hello. They were very surprised to see me already and likewise most people on Facebook; hadn’t realised that the marathon was on March 11th. I celebrated the entire week with beautiful landscapes and wildlife but for them it just happened yesterday (no Wi-Fi on the ship). My marathon victory buzz is all coming back to me now from the attention via the social media and my surroundings. My coach and running mates were very proud and happy that we finally have a marathon winner in our group. A Danish run blogger (named as the best Danish runner blog 2016) wrote a short article about my trip. One of Denmark’s most popular, if not the most popular running gear web shop offered me to be one of their brand ambassadors and the local newspaper is writing 2,5 pages about me in their “Life style/travel” section. They even put me on the front page. One thing I’ll remember mostly from this trip is the conscious selfish commitments I put into it throughout the years such as how I want to do it, where I want to go and when I want to go etc. First of all, I knew that I wanted to do this on my own, because I couldn’t bear the thought of not being present with my loved ones when I’m out training, out travelling in sudden periods and out spending all my savings on flight tickets and tourist activities etc. And because of that I’m very fascinated by the parents of young children whom I met along the trip, who went on their own and did their thing. For me, it was very inspirational because I’m not simply in that stage of my life and they showed me, that it’s emotionally possible to do what they did.

If any of you have questions or whatsoever, my email is I’m also available on Facebook.

To put things in a better perspective I have attached the article of me in a PDF for you to google translate if interested. Also I listed some links from the trip:

Full M results:

Half M results:

Media files from the others runner:                                                                                               

Radio:                           ’s-antarctic-marathon (Canadian French – go to 8:40) – works only in Internet Explorer

Articles/blogs:                                                        (Canadian French)                                                                                                (Danish)        (in fact she is from the UK and lived close to Brighton) (in fact she is from the UK and lived close to Brighton)                                                                     (in fact she is from the UK and lived close to Brighton)  

If you have a race report that you would like to feature on the Arena website and let the other members know it went then we would love to hear about it.
Send it to

Have you got something to say that Arena should know about?

If you have something that you think others members should know about, have something to share, or would like to write a race report about any races, training runs or runs abraod then please email:

We would love to hear from you!! As runners and members, we love reading all about it and even more so as it’s Arena 80.

A club that just keeps on giving.

We are looking for the best race report and best photo?

We are having a competition for the best race report between now and September 1st.

Over the last couple of years we have had some great race reports from our club members about the races that they have participated in. There have been in-depth, detailed and humorous reports but all made for great reading, so for this year we thought we would honour the best one. You can enter as many as you like, in any style and they can be as short as long as you like, the choice is yours.

We are also having a best photo competition as well. Again it’s up to you what you capture but it must be Arena involvement. This could be anything from running to marshalling or just club members hanging out together but something that captures the spirit of Arena 80.

Both competitions will be judged by the committee and the winner will be announced in Mid September. There will be a prize for the winners of each competition.

Send you race reports to and any photos you would like to be considered to

We hope you will get involved and we look forward to reading/seeing your entries.

You can read previous race reports here:

Here is one of the favourite photos capturing an Arena moment with Emily and Isobel.

Get to know…Kevin Martin

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the man who chased his dream and finally succeeded and by that I mean the illusive sub 3 hour marathon. Kevin Martin chased this dream for 5 years before finally triumphing at the Brighton marathon in 2015  with his 2.58.21. It is his ‘never say die’ attitude that always pushes him on and this is reflective in and outside of this running. Kevin has travelled the world to take part in some of the worlds best Marathons which consisted of New York in 2013, Tokyo and Amsterdam in 2014 and Chicago in 2015, definitely a case of ‘have shoes will travel’. Kevin has been out with injury recently but is hoping to get back to training in the very near future so expect to see him pushing hard around the track soon. Lets meet the man himself Mr Kevin Martin.

Name: Kevin Martin

1. When and why did you join Arena:
2007, after my first marathon, Arena were recommended to me by Kurt Hoyte as friendly and welcoming club, and he wasn’t wrong.

2. How long have you been running:
Since 2006, needed something to fire my competitive juices after giving up football, and someone dared me to enter the London Marathon in 2007, so I thought I better start training.

3. Where did you grow up:
Born in Crowborough, but have spent all but four years of my life in Brighton and Hove.

4. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
Have always wanted to go to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the carnivals, the sights all look incredible. I will maybe look at the marathon at some point.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your time:
Devoted husband and father of three and long suffering Arsenal season ticket holder (or should that be the other way round), and junior football coach and Manager.

6. What would you say to your younger self:
Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard, is a phrase that has increasingly resonated with me as I have grown older.

7. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be:
Chicken and Chorizo Risotto is absolutely scrummy.

8. What are you most proud of in your life: 
My wife Lisa with her unflinching support and loyalty and my children are developing and growing into fine young people.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
It has to be “Mr Arsenal” Tony Adams, I loved the way he played, maximised his talents and had the strength of mind and character to make a better life for himself, when he hit rock bottom.

10. What is your favourite album ever:
Difficult choice but London Calling by The Clash just gets better and better and brings back so many happy memories.

11. Do you have any phobias:
I am not great with heights, but wouldn’t call it a phobia, but am increasingly getting wary and worried about angry seagulls who seem to be targeting me more frequently when I am out running.

12. What makes you happy:
Simple stuff really, a nice meal and a glass of red with the family, Arsenal progressing beyond 4th place and the last 16 in the Champions league.

13. What do you consider to be the biggest world event of your lifetime: 
I guess the breakup of the Soviet Union and communist Europe, in particular the Berlin Wall, having grown up throughout the Cold War, I could never have predicted that, just shows the power of politicians listening to their people and doing the right thing.

14. Who is your inspiration:
At the moment it is my running partner Mark O’Gara who is invincible at the moment and going from strength to strength with his running, am struggling to get anywhere near him, but am determined to get closer this year.

15. What’s something we don’t know about you:
Have attended 9 FA cup finals (8 for Arsenal and 1 for Brighton).

16. What’s the one thing you can’t live without:
Would have to say my mobile phone would be the answer in terms of possessions.

17. What is the hardest thing you ever had to do: 
Accepting that my son was and is better at football than me at age 10 than I was as an adult, took me a long time to come to terms with that. He also says to me that he is going to beat my marathon PB at the first attempt, not sure where he gets his competitive streak from.

18. What us the best TV theme song ever:
The Sweeney – Had it as my ringtone for years.

19. What were you like at school:
Jack of all trades, master of none, always did enough to get by and keep myself under the radar, but never uprooted any trees.

20. What’s the last book you read:
Ray Parlour’s autobiography “The Real Romford Pele”.

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

Maisie Trafford breaks course record at Lewes 10k.

At the WSFRL Lewes 10k, Maisie Trafford had a terrific day by hitting a treble. Maisie managed a 10k PB, the first lady home and a new course record, not bad for someone coming back from a spell out due to a slight injury. I did ask the question if there was a race plan that went with this race.

Here are the stats: Her new PB time is 39.55 with her previous Best being 41:18.
The previous course record time was: 40:00 by Sue Fry.

This was her first ever 10k race and first race off-road on multi terrain so she was relatively nervous as she doesn’t often train off-road. In terms of having a race plan, she went into the event hoping for a potential top 3 placing having looked at a couple of results the night before but this was more of a hope than a guarantee as she hadn’t broken 41 minutes before.

 Maisie had no idea what was going to happen, especially after having four weeks off of running and only swimming, cycling and cross training to keep her stamina and endurance up to scratch. 

At the beginning of the race she had ensured that she was at least at the very front and on the inside so she could let those faster than her take over.  Once she hit mile 1-2, Maisie got her self comfortable (as you do in a 10k race) and maintained her pace around the 6:10/6:20 mark. Maisie had no idea of the route so it was an incredibly risky tactic for her. Once she hit the incline at mile 4, she was a little worried as she hadn’t raced up a hill before and really had no idea how to attack this. All she thought she could do was to attack it head on and try to power through it and let her leg speed take the downhill.

So was there a race plan? “Definitely not” said Maisie, “I went into the race clueless of what was to come, particularly the cow’s I managed to run away from!”.

Congratulations Maisie Trafford on a job well done. Also a big well done to all of our Arena athletes that turned out for this WSFRL race and helped to chalk points up on the board, your efforts are greatly appreciated.

The next WSFRL race is the Portslade Hedgehoppers 5 miler race on Sunday 7th May at 11am. For entry details please speak to either Michele Saunders or Brigitte Groves.