Monthly Archives: February 2016

‘Get to know’…Bob Page

Bob Page

Bob Page

Name: Bob Page

Role on committee: Chairman & Head coach

1. When did you join Arena: 1992 Membership number 485

2. Why did you choose Arena: Don’t like red and Phoenix had Ovett so Arena needed Page

3. How long have you been running: Taking it seriously since 1991

4. What got you started: Lower back problem stopped me playing golf or squash and running seemed to help

5. Isn’t running boring: Same routes in training and same race year in year out does, so I have many routes and travel to races that interest me.

6. What was the best advice you have ever been given: Live long

7. What is your biggest accomplishment in your life sporting or non: Going sub 70 for first time in golf.

8. Who is your sporting hero: Jimmy Greaves

9. What’s your running song: Don’t have one.

10. What’s your favourite piece of running kit: Arena hoodie

11. If you didn’t run what else would you be doing: Same as I do now

12. What’s your biggest inspiration: Watching runners becoming the best they can

13. What would you say to your younger self: Do it all again

14. What’s your favourite place on earth: Love it all

15. What’s the one thing you can’t live without: Breathing

16. What’s your favourite food: Cake – lots of

17. What’s the greatest invention ever: Central heating

18. What would be your dream sandwich: Audrey Hepburn/Me/Jenny Hughes

19. What’s your favourite word or phrase: See your at marathon pace tonight

20. Anything else you’d like to share: Debt

Al Silvester still going strong for Arena internationally.

As Al & Cat continue their adventures in running land around the world, here is the latest instalment from their recent race in Hong Kong. A little warm up for the Tokyo Marathon.

China Coast Half Marathon – Hong Kong

It's not about the prize but the taking part isn't it guys?

It’s not about the prize but the taking part isn’t it guys?

Well then folks, it’s January 2016 (or at least it was when I first started writing this post!) and after no races in Vietnam we were long overdue a sharpener before February’s Tokyo marathon. Luckily we had planned for such an eventuality and scheduled in the China Coast Half Marathon in honkers!

To that end I’ll cut straight to the chase, here is our race report for the China Coast Half Marathon as told through the inner monologues of runner numbers, 1838 (Cat) and 1839 (Al)…

Mile 0


5,4,3,2,1!! Go! Ok….exciting. Though still walking… crossing the line, quick, start the watch -go.


Bloody hell, too far back in the pen again. Why do I always do this? Must remember to get in early to get as far forward as possible. What’s the mandarin for “excuse me”? Ah yes, Dway Boo Che. Or something like that. “Dway Boo Che”, “Dway Boo Che”, “Dway Boo Che”, “sorry”. Ah sod it, this is far enough forward. Why is there a taxi trying to drive through the crowd! Idiot. What’s idiot in mandarin? Oooh crap, we’re off.

Mile 0-1.5:

Hmm, bit congested. Crap, watch says 9:40 m/m. Gonna have to make that up. Oh god, it’s hilly. Well what goes up must come down so the next mile should be nice. Yeah but what about mile 4 and then 10 etc – oh shut up don’t think like that it’s only the start!


Right, need to get round some people asap. Get to the side. That’s a bit better. Nice downhill start actually, sweet. Ooo, but now a rather large uphill!… This is a really long hill! Must be a mile long? Ah, but there’s the summit. Wow the leaders have gone over already! Better speed up a bit.

Mile 1.5-2:


Oo, yay downhill. Watch check…..oh this is better. Maybe I’ll be OK. This might even be fun. Uh oh watch is vibrating…crap storage space is low. Thought it would last the race. How can I have run out space in a few months – I haven’t done that many runs surely!


Ooof, it’s windy up here. Cracking view though. Concentrate Al! Right lets put some solid sub 6:30 min miles in then.

Mile 2-3:


Wow what a view!! This is amazing. Look at that reservoir and the islands and the sea defences. Hey are you all seeing this? That first hill was so worth it. Hmm, would I run a whole race uphill for a view like this…hell yeah! Woah, a 30km marker, what the hell. They have messed up a bit there. Watch check…6:47 m/m?! Great, it is broken! I can’t even do that for more than a mile of a park run. Maybe I should slow down a bit anyway.


Ok, feeling comfortable, pace is good, no one overtaking and starting to close the gap in a few people in front… That chap looks like a bigger version of me, but with no beard. Should I tell him? No, that would be odd in any situation, let alone in the middle of a race. Just go past him. I wonder if he is thinking the same thing though?

Mile 3-4:

It beats Basin Road South.

It beats Basin Road South.


Would I run a whole race uphill for a great view – No I would not!! Urgh! Oo water stop, oh dear it’s cups. How do I do this without stopping? Ok it’s impossible, did I even get any of that in my mouth. Uh oh, watch is full – no more stats. Gonna have to go old school and use the actual time.


This route is really beautiful. Who woulda thought Hong Kong had such great countryside! I always thought it was just a big city…. Ah, here comes a water stop. Don’t need any, stay on the left. Looks like cups. Great, that’s gonna be fun when I do need water… There’s the turn off for the 10k. Maybe some of the people in front are doing that and will turn off. That’d be good. Oh, none did, oh well.

Mile 4-5:


This view is so amazing. This might be my favourite race ever. This is going down hill a lot, hope we don’t have to go back up. I like her leggings…have to get some skins at some point, when they aren’t ridiculously expensive anymore. Oo some of the front runners are coming back the other way. Where’s Al, why isn’t he first?! 😉 hold on, we turn round and go back…up this! Ouch that will hurt. Better slow down and conserve some fuel for that. No, don’t slow down that much stupid. Just do this until it hurts more.


It’s very undulating. I wonder if there are any flat parts? Ah yer, looks like a flat bit along the reservoir. Can’t wait for the turn, this wind is ridico… There’s another chap slowing down on the hill… This is good, not slowing down too much on the uphill… Shit, a cow! Three cows! They’re not moooooving! Ha, good joke. Weave through them.

Mile 5-6:


Oh there’s Al!! Hey! Shall I do a high five? Nah better not ruin his stride, he seems comfy, ha and he shouted to me so he is fine. What position is he then, 6th?, 7th? Nice one…he won’t be happy though. Wow the sea defence is windy! I can’t actually run straight. Oops lost an earphone, oh and a safety pin, I think my number bib might come off. Quick memorise the number incase…1838, 1838, 18-38. There’s the turning so must be half way ish. That’s good I feel alright. Quick water decision??? Yes do it. Eek there’s so many cups on the ground in this wind they will be blown into the sea. I hope they pick them up quickly. Oh, there’s a bin there, dammit I should have put mine in there. Sorry!!
Whaa…was that the 10k marker?? I thought we cleared that ages ago when we turned back. Boo. Ok well don’t panic, definitely half way by now.


Ah there’s the leader coming back, the turn must be near. He’s got a healthy lead. Must be 30 or 40 seconds at least. Yep, there’s 2nd. Oh, and there’s the turn up ahead. And a water station. Right, take the hairpin wide then throw some water in the direction of your open mouth. Go!… Hhhmmm, maybe got an eighth of a cup in the mouth, rest in my eyes. Great. Still it’s cool enough to not need it.

Mile 6-7:


‘I know you don’t get a chance to take a break this often, I know your life is speeding and it isn’t stoppin’, here take my shirt and just go ahead and wipe off all the….sweat, sweat, sweat; lose yourself to dance’. God I love daft punk – should put more on the running playlist next time. Legs have loosened up now, this is fun! Ooo rock the casbah – yes!! Just in time for the heavy hill. Reckon I can take some of these guys…don’t push it though you know that right butt cheek is starting to twinge..oh f**k it I’ll be alright. Last race of the trip.


Think I’m closing in on another chap, he seems to be getting nearer…. Pace is speeding up a bit now, that’s good. Having a tail wind really helps… Lots of runners coming the opposite way now. Wonder where Cat is? She must be coming through soon. I wonder if she really is gonna take it easy like she said. Probably not.

Mile 7-8:


That guys thigh muscles are HUGE! I wonder if that’s a good thing…power for hills but he would need more energy and be heavier. I wonder if other runners are thinking stuff like this. Maybe someone is looking at me and thinking my legs are too muscly for efficient long distance. Maybe I’ll write about it for Al’s race report. What have I’ve been thinking about all this time…


There she is! “Go on babes!”. Ah, head phones are in, probably didn’t hear me. She’s looking comfortable though. That must be 5 or 6 miles for her. Reckon she may be on for sub 1:50 then. Obviously not taking it that easy. Would be nice if she got some pics though, this place is amazing… Anyway, focus, keep the pace up.

Mile 8-9:


Uh oh, Moby! Great tune but too sad and too slow. Good job we are going downhill again now. This is great though – heading back to the reservoir, are we here already, must only have about 6k to go, woop. Maybe this will be a good time. I’m not even in pain really, that much.


Wonder where I am in the field? Deffo top 10. Maybe 7th? Can see one guy ahead. Think I can catch him… Yep, he’s deffo getting nearer…. Reckon anything around 1:24 would be fine for this course. Maybe Tokyo will be ok after all. Need to get some longer runs in though in the next couple of weeks. Must stay off the Tsing Taos. And the Oreos. I’d love an Oreo now. Or a creamo. Less cream in a creamo than an Oreo I reckon though. Takes the biscuit really! Ha, good joke.

Mile 9:


The view from the reservoir bridge is soo good. We must be joining up with the 10k race, where have all these people come from..beep beep! That means only 5k max to go surely, time check…ok looking like a sub 1:45 maybe even 1:40 that would be good. Definitely can’t stop to take piccies now.


Ah crap, here’s the merge with the 10kers again. Why do all Asian races do this? Bloody hell, and the corporate challenge lot as well. Half of them are taking selfies! What is it with the Chinese and taking selfies? Hhhhmm, I suppose I too have a selfie stick. Probably shouldn’t judge. Still at least they are moving aside as we come through… That chap in the blue is really close now. Should have him soon.

Mile 10-11:


Water stop decision time…do I don’t I. Quick, do the super fast cost-benefit analysis…nah you’ve blown it it’s gone. Didn’t need water anyway, sure I’ll make it fine without.
That girl is tiny…she’s destroying this hill. Ok I might just be able to overtake her but only cause my legs are longer..seems kind of unfair. Must be getting close to the super downhill finale from mile 1 – come on Cat move it. You can overtake those 2 Hong Kong Runners, yeah! Oh…maybe not. Suppose I could try to play the cat and mouse chase with these guys for a bit to see if I can keep the pace. They look like they are running together to get a good time and help each other out. Where is Drew!!
Lot of traffic here, it’s those taxis the race official warned us of, the ones that will probably just run us over. That guy in front is in the middle of the road. Hmm he has earphones in and don’t think he knows – I better tell him, it’s gonna take a speed spurt .. this might hurt.


Yes, taken him! And there’s another chap up ahead. That’s a good sign, it’s normally me dying at this point. I’m still feeling good and we have a big downhill coming soon!… What shall I eat later? Deffo some dumplings I reckon. Maybe the bbq pork ones, they rock. Pretty hungry now actually. There must be bananas at the end. That would be aPEALling. Ha, good joke.

Mile 11-12:


Whaaaa, why are we going this way? That’s not fair I want to go where the 10k runners are going. That’s away from the finish line people!! Balls – I knew I wasn’t tired enough for it to be too close to the end. No, I’m slowing! And there’s more incline, boo. Oh well, just keep running. Wish I knew how fast I was going. Wish Drew was here, he’d make me not slow down and he’d give me updated stats for some morale boosting. He would also love this race, but not the flight.
Oh man, half marathon runners are coming back the same way, I can’t see the turn around point, another corner and no turn, argh!! How long will this go on for.


Ah, here’s the extra bit they add on to make up the full 13.1. I was wondering where that was gonna be added. Must be an out and back stretch. Well marshalled actually, plenty of warning and great use of cones there. Must be in their CONEtract. Ha, good joke…. Yep, here’s the leader again. Looks to be even further ahead… There’s 2nd… There’s 3rd and 4th, they look pretty close… Ah and there’s the turn, and 5th only just going around the cone… What’s that guy saying? Oh, step on the mat. No probs mate. Right chase down 5th, he looks like he’s blowing.

Mile 12-13:


Thank god, we are here! Just a little more back to the 10k route and then it’s downhill finish – only 2k left. Hey that looks like Al coming the other way, why is he behind me? It is him! Arrr, he’s come to run the last bit with me. That’s nice, hi Al.
Hmm, actually kind of wish he wasn’t running with me….he looks so comfortable, I feel super slow now! Oh stop being such a wimp, it’s good, he’s trying to help you do your best – just try and keep up, lengthen those strides. Not long now.
Yay last downhill bit, woop. Not long now. My breathing is laboured, it is so loud!! I wonder how Al got on, I should ask him….can’t though, can’t talk. Need to conserve all oxygen. Maybe I should tell him I want to ask but can’t right now. No, stupid that would be more effort than actually asking!! Ah, what’s that Al? Oh he’s gone, must mean the finish line is near.


Right on him now. Try and get him on the downhill, you’re gonna slow on the steep incline… Crikey, my pace says 5 min mileing! This downhill is steep. My legs are wobbling a bit!… Yes, taken him at last. Now keep pushing! One last bit of effort.

Mile 13 – 13.1


What! There’s an incline to the finish line! You are kidding, no fair! Ok fine. Don’t slow down, don’t slow down. Yaaaaay! Ooo medal.


Oooo, nasty little finish! Push on up to the top. Aaaarrrgghhhh, this is horrible, I’m gonna be sick…. Phew, finished. Jesus that was a horrible finish… Ooo, they do have bananas.

Postscript:Al & Cat conquer Hong Kong

After getting our breath back and chatting to some lovely runners from AVOHK we made our way over to the results board and checked out our performances. Surprisingly I had managed to finish in 5th overall and 2nd in the senior category with a gun time of 1:22:49. Happy with that on a course like that.

Good luck on your next crazy adventure and we all wish you well and best of luck for Tokyo.

Worthing Half Marathon February 14th 2016

The first long race of the year hit the streets of Worthing for the 2016 half marathon.
The weather was fairly kind to the runners except for the stiff headwind in the final 3 miles to the finish line. Some 1500 took to the start line for this race with many using this as a benchmark to see how they were doing as a lead up to the Brighton and London Marathon.

I'm sure I'm being followed.

I’m sure I’m being followed.

Arena had a good turnout for this race with 21 club members taking to the streets. It was to be a great day for a few of the Arena clan with no less than 4 PBs to show for their efforts. So we must say a massive well done to the first Arena runner home James Gladman on his new PB of 1.22.53 taking some 2.5 mins off his previous best and coming home in 30th place of the 1471 finishers. James’ main focus is for the Brighton Marathon where he is hoping to go sub 3.15 and on this current form could well achieve it.

Here’s one for the family album.




Next up is the man who has been chasing his dream of a sub 1.30 for what would seem a lifetime but it all came good for him on the day and Trevor Day now joins the sub 1.30 club with his new PB of 1.29.34. He came into the race a little under the weather so really wasn’t expecting a good race but he took it by the scruff of the neck and gave it a shot. Nice day for a run Trevor.


The next PB went to the very in form Kristina Hine with her new PB of 1.39.50. To see this girls rise over the last year and to see how far she has come should be an inspiration to us all. Kristina has proved that if you work hard at the track and put in quality training during the week then the dividends will pay off and that it has. There is still more to come from Kristina this year I’m sure and a few more PBs surely to come out of this year.

The last PB of the day goes to Nicky Yeates who in the F55 category is another member who always gives 100% at the training sessions and so great to see her achieve her new PB of 1.43.49. This lady has still got so much more potential for this year and another one who has a few more PBs in her sights.

Well done to all Arena members that took part and also some fine results even if they didn’t quite get a PB on the day but the year is still young and we look forward to the Brighton Half on the 28th February and if the weather is kind enough again let’s hope to read about a few more PBs.

Photos courtesy of Daniel Cartledge.

Chichester 10k, end of an era?

Thank you Caroline Wood for this Chichester 10k update.

Areenez do Chichester 10k. End of an era (but possibly not the end of the mugs) as there is to be a new course at Goodwood next year. Well done to all who ran and all who got PBs.

Arena turning out in numbers today and lovely to see that wall of blue vests out in force on a very windy course.

For the full results

For the Arena results only

The first 3 men home for Arena were:

Timmy Gedin – 34.51

James Dicks – 35.44

Joe Ashley – 35.55

And the first 3 women home for Arena were:

Caroline Hoyte – 37.49

Julie Briggs – 38.19

Dani Tarleton – 39.35

Looks like the ladies stormed Chichester today so well done to you all.

We should also mention Paul Gasson who had a fine run today coming back from a two month injury with a time of 41.36.

Further news of PBs and the Super Series league table will follow once all the results are in.

Arena out in numbers for the Chi 10k.

Arena turn out in numbers for the Chi 10k and the 2nd Super Series race.


Arena goes international.

Arena’s very own Alan Silvester is triumphant in the China Coast Half Marathon.
Al (The Shuffle) Silvester is currently touring around Asia and beyond with his wife but in-between the sight seeing and all the travelling, Al still manages to find time to fit a race or two in. Al is currently hanging out in China where he has just taken part in the  China Coast Half Marathon.
In his own words Al said:

“Hhhmmmm, what shall I have to drink? How’s about a cup of 2nd placed senior male in the China Coast Half Marathon! Mmmmmm tastes goooood.

Al taking the world by storm.

Al taking the world by storm.

One of the best Half Marathon races in my opinion. Fantastic scenery round hilly coastal roads in the Po Leung Kuk national park area in Hong Kong’s new territories. Bit windy up on the hills and the course is not a PB course but it’s incredibly beautiful (you’ll have to take my word for it as I didn’t have time to stop to take pics) and really well run by the Athletics Veterans of Hong Kong. Top work guys”.

Al finished in 5th place overall in a gun time of 1:22:49 which he was pretty happy with the way it all went. He is now focusing his attention on the Tokyo Marathon in 4 weeks time in which he is hoping a sub 3 attempt MAY be on the cards.

His wife also did very well and finished in 1:46 and a top 10 female finish. great work from both of them!

We must wish Al a massive good luck for his next race in Tokyo and we look forward to hearing some good news from it and how it all went.
Flying the flag for Arena internationally.