Monthly Archives: March 2016

Tokyo Marathon 2016 – Al Silvester continues to conquer the world.


Here it is! The big one (until the next big one). The culmination of 5 months of difficult and sporadic training across Asia!

Did I train hard enough? Did I do enough long runs? Would all the beers and delicious foods I’ve been stuffing my face with count against me? Would I be able to sneak under 3 hours, or perhaps post a better time? What did i have for breakfast in the morning of the race? How many toilet visits did I make? Will anyone read this?

All these important questions will be answered in the next few minutes so keep reading! Or don’t. Your choice of course. I don’t want to force you to read it obviously.

Anyhow, where was I? Yes, we arrived in Japan and more specifically Tokyo and had a week’s count down before the big day itself, so we travelled around the country with Cat’s sister Rachel and her husband Phil for some solid tourism (however that will be covered in the Japan blog post so keep your eyes peeled for it).

Let’s get back to race matters, and firstly as always the pre race expo!

Having not arrived back in Tokyo until the Friday, it meant we had to leave our expo visit until the Saturday, which as all you ardent marathoners know is a big mistake if you are wanting to avoid the crowds. However with Cat and Phil in check (Rachel was laid up ill in bed with woman flu and bro et al were out looking at the imperial palace) we set off to the Tokyo dock lands area where the expo was being held in a conference centre called Tokyo Big Sight (which looks a little bit like a James Bond evil villain’s lair). Similar to London and the Excel centre it takes a while and a few subway lines to reach the place, but was actually quite a useful journey, as this is where the marathon ends and the last few miles of the route approach.

As well as picking up my race number, timing chip, t-shirt and general freebies I also needed to grab some gels for the race and also some arm sleeves which I thought may be useful if the day was a bit chilly. However navigating through the throng of incredibly enthusiastic runners was a bit of a chore, but I ploughed through and managed to secure myself 4 power bar gels of varying flavours, and some dashing white arm sleeves. Success.

Pre race kit check = tick!

Pre race kit check = tick!

The pre race carb loading session was in a Japanese canteen down the road from the hotel in Nihombashi, which for Tokyo standards was incredibly good value. Ramen (noodle soup) and beef (my non red meat diet has suffered terribly in Asia) strips with a couple of dumplings was the order of the day and it deffo filled a hole. I therefore headed to bed early and packed up my race bag ready for an early 6am wake up call.

So, up with the partridge, and down to breakfast it was. Cat had kindly gotten up with me and come for breakfast as well, so we stuffed our faces with pan au raisins, hot dogs and cups of tea (never coffee before a race for obvious reasons). However, she wasn’t coming to the start line with me but instead meeting my auntie Estella from her pod capsule hotel (yep, Japan has lots of these places where you rent a capsule type bed for the night) and both heading to km 8 (no mile markers in Japan, just km markers, but I’m an imperial man so will continue with miles) to see the race come through there. So I said saionara and hopped on to the metro for Shinjuku and the start race village.

For once I had made good time (Japanese subway and trains are incredibly efficient – perhaps the UK should outsource Network Rail and the train operating franchises to Japan!) and arrived in the village ready to grab a banana, visit the toilet, warm up and get a good spot in the corral.

Halfway through the mother of all toilet queues

Halfway through the mother of all toilet queues

However, I had not bargained for the mother of all toilet queues! I shit you not (pun intended) that the queue for about 15 cubicles must have had over 1000 people waiting. After an hours wait I got to the front and made the moment count. Textbook stuff despite it being a squatter style!

A quick clothing change and dropping stuff off in the bag drop and off to pen A with 20 minutes to spare. Interestingly looking around the pen I spotted a few faces which looked familiar and on closer inspection their vests revealed runners from Serpentine, Kent and other places in the UK. I began to focus and listened to the guy on the tannoy announce the wheelchair starters before they headed off, and then the elite men (including last years winner Dickson Chumba, Olympic champion Stephen kiprotich and Ethiopians Feyisa Lelisa) and women. Strong fields in all events which is good. I guess as Tokyo is the first major of the year and there is enough recovery time before London or Boston a couple of months later the big boys and girls can double up?

All too soon, the gun was being fired and 36,000 of us trotted forward picking up speed until we were over the start line. Then it was the usual mad five minutes of weaving and jostling in to position and trying to find a rhythm. This is even more difficult in Tokyo, as the course starts with a few miles of downhill (similar to London in that respect). Not majorly so, but enough to post a couple of sub 6 minute miles for miles 2 and 3. Not a huge problem, but I don’t wanna be overcooking it now, as it may cost me later.

By mile 4 I had settled in to a decent rhythm and was ticking along at about 6 minute miles. Again, probably a bit too quick but it felt fine so I thought I would go with it for a while and see what happens.

The leading pack coming through at mile 5

The leading pack coming through at mile 5

By mile 5 you are entering Central Tokyo and I began to look out for Cat and Estella on the side of the road. They had positioned themselves at a good spot to be able to see the leaders come through and get some good pictures and also allow me to see them well.  After a quick shout of hello and a wave it was back to my own thoughts and the long road ahead.

The stretch from 5 to 10 miles is very straight as it heads past the imperial palace gardens and south on a straight road before hair pinning back up the same way. Along the way you pass Tokyo Tower which used to be the tallest building in Tokyo (at 333m) but has since been surpassed by the Skytree (634m). It felt like there was a bit of a tailwind during this section (although it was difficult to tell when the wind whips round the buildings) so I continued feeling ok up to the 10 mile point with the pace still in the low 6 min/miles.

However, after the hairpin turn things felt a little more difficult so I tried as often as possible to tuck in behind a fellow runner and hitch a lift. I managed to be dragged along to the midway point still in reasonable shape. I think my split for halfway was 1:22, which for my current fitness levels was certainly a couple of minutes too quick, but too late to worry about that now!

The fashion police were not impressed with the white arm sleeves

The fashion police were not impressed with the white arm sleeves

I passed the family again around mile 14 and this time Cat and Estella were joined by my brother Kean, his girlfriend Tetsi, their daughter Ella and Tetsi’s mum Julietta. They had taken up an excellent position on a cross road junction so had a pretty good view of the race coming by, a bit like this…

Another few hundred metres up the road more friendly faces in the form of Phil and Rachel popped up! Obviously they had taken a bit of a lie in and decided to place themselves at the nearest point from the hotel that the route takes. A sensible strategy! A quick wave and shout and it was back to the dark solitary thoughts of my own mind, which unfortunately were beginning to whisper discouraging things particularly as we passed my hotel where a nice sit down seemed quite appealing.

The tokyo skytree and the Asahi golden turd / sperm

The tokyo skytree and the Asahi golden turd / sperm

The next few miles take you to an area of Tokyo called Asakusa, which is along the riverside. It’s a nice stretch, as you see a few of the city’s nice sights like the Asakusa shrine, the Tokyo skytree and also the Asahi brewery building which kind of looks like a golden turd or sperm. Sort of.

The route here again doubles back on itself until about mile 21 or 22 where it veers off towards the docks. At this point, I had just seen the family for the last time (during the race, not ever) and the boost of adrenaline was starting to subside and the legs feeling very stiff and heavy. Not too bad I thought, I just need to make sure that the next 4 miles aren’t slower than 7 minute mile pace and that’s a sub 2:50 in the bag.

If only it were that easy. The legs really started to suffer at mile 24 and it was clear that the three twenty mile long runs I completed in training were not enough prep, and that some proper extended training at marathon pace would definitely have helped. By this point my hammy’s were twitching and I wasn’t really taking in my surroundings and every bridge seemed like a mountain. People were now coming past me more than I was them. Not a good sign. But I was still hanging on. Just.

And then disaster! Left hamstring cramp! F*#k me that’s a horrible pain. I had to stop. I couldn’t even hobble. The only thing you can do with cramp is stretch it out, but that costs time. I spent the next two minutes stretching out my leg and rubbing my hammy. Finally after what seemed an age i  was able to jog again, but that was it. Half a mile from the finish line took me about five minutes to finally cross the finish line in 2:51. Not a sub 2:50 but the main goal of getting a sub 3 was achieved 😎

For all you stat lovers here are my splits and pace.

al 7 al 6

I have never been so pleased to finish a race in all my life, and I’m sure I say that after every marathon, but his one was deffo tough. I walked through the finish area amd chatted to a few other finishers, picked up my medal, and goodie bag and wandered to what looked like the bag pick up.

However the finish area seems to go in forever! I must have walked ten minutes before finally getting to a large hangar where the bags and changing area were, but the volunteers I have to say were all incredibly friendly, polite and welcoming. They seemed to clap and bow to every single runner coming through. A lovely people for sure.

One of these love people took the following snap of me once I had learned how to smile again…

A free towel to help soak up the experience!

A free towel to help soak up the experience!

al 9I left the expo and started to head back in to town where my only criticism of the race came to bear. The race organisers give you a free Tokyo metro card to use on the day, so I had taken this in my bag when getting the metro out to the start. As I thought I could just use it on the way home I didn’t take any money with me. You can imagine my alarm therefore that when trying to use this card at the nearest station, to get back to the city centre and my hotel, it didn’t work and was not valid for that line. The nearest station you can use it was three miles back the way I came! Not exactly what I needed with a dodgy hamstring, but at least it meant I did get to cheer on some of my fellow runners  completing their last few miles…

Still, I made it back in to town and met up with the family for a Japanese feast. The restaurant we chose did not disappoint, as we found an authentic place with tatami mats and low tables in town. A table of tempura, noodles, rice, sushi etc was ordered as well as several pints of Asahi. I left feeling more like a sumo wrestler than a runner.

To top it all off, dinner was followed by a visit to the local karaoke bar, where I’d like to tell you that classic renditions of such famous running songs as Eye of the tiger and Walk 500 miles were belted out. But I can’t. Instead dodgy duets of Stan by Eminem and Spice up your life by the spice girls ensued.

I don’t know what’s more painful. Running a Marathon? Or listening to my own Mel B impersonation.


Alan San.

BMAF 1500m – Joe Ashley

It’s 17:32. According to my ‘last hour’ timetable I need to change my shoes and do two acceleration runs before reporting to the call room before my race. I get out my race shoes and socks and the nagging doubt I’ve had all day that I’ve missed something finally hits home… I’ve brought two ‘left’ socks.I’m getting ahead of myself though. I’m in North London at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre for the British Masters Athletics Federation (BMAF) Indoor Championships. I’d heard about the BMAF last year from fellow Arena runner David McKeown-Webster. They are a federation of veterans clubs all over the Britain & Northern Ireland and host a number of national championships for anyone aged 35 and over.

I have loved competing in the local Sussex Vets league over the last two years – which had come as a huge surprise to me having had no experience of track racing before the first league meet I went to on a windy Wednesday in Eastbourne. It really surprised me how much I enjoyed it and how different it was to road racing. I would recommend any Arena runner over 35 to consider the Vets league, regardless of experience or ability.

So for 2016 I had decided to concentrate on middle distance races, specifically 1500m, with a target to be reasonably competitive (mid pack) at the BMAF outdoor championships in the summer.

Training over the winter has been ok, but an injury meant that I hadn’t competed properly for a few months. I wanted to get a sense of whether I’d progressed, despite not doing any speed work yet. That meant a competitive 1500m, and that meant indoor racing – a completely new experience in terms of track length (200m not 400m), banked corners instead of flat bends, narrower lanes compared to an outdoor track, and air conditioning instead of our gentle seafront breezes.

There were a few events on offer in Feb and March, so I quietly entered the Southern Counties Vets championship 1500m as a trial run. The race went well and I ran a new PB despite a lot of new things to take in, so I took the plunge and entered the BMAF indoor champs in March.

So here I am. I get to Lee Valley at 4 o’clock, pre-race coffee in hand. There are over 500 athletes taking part from all round the country. Lee Valley is packed with serious looking officials and lots of cheering spectators. And my race is the last one of the day at 17:58.

It’s nerve wracking but fortunately not a completely new experience after the Southern Counties champs. There are slight differences though, such as I have to register and then sign a declaration form too. The declaration may or may not be on another table or may have been taken already to another part of the stadium in which case I have to find it.. All little things but I’m paranoid about missing something that would mean I couldn’t race. So I check and double check, then triple check I’ve done the right thing before watching a few races.

I have a ‘last hour’ plan written down based on my previous experience, so that I don’t get side-tracked with so much going on.

16:50 – get changed. I decide to do the same as last time and get changed in back of car. Why not?

16:55 – warm up time. Two miles, along a main road in North London. It’s not scenic.

17:10 – back to the centre for pre race drills. There is a 100m warm up track indoors for athletes. I’ve given myself 10 minutes leeway here for a toilet break and to walk up a ramp, so I’m feeling relaxed. I get to the track to find that somehow I have tied the mother of all knots in my right shoe. I’ve triple knotted it I think. Or something even stupider. It takes me about 5 mins to get it off. I seriously consider cutting my laces. So much for any spare time.

17:20 – warm up drills, which I am still not very good at. The less said the better. My competition are there too, they look much more assured than me. I almost fall over mid lunge.

17:32 – time to change my shoes and do some final 20m/60m/20m acceleration runs to get my legs moving and heart pumping. The left sock situation comes to light. TWO LEFT SOCKS! I do have a spare pair in the car, but it is 5 mins away. I have time, but is it worth it? It would blow my plan out the window. I am only going to be racing for less than a mile. I do not believe there is any major difference between a left and a right sock that is going to break me over just 1500m. Dare I throw caution to the wind and put an L on my right foot?

At this point I also notice that my watch is 2 mins slow and actually I don’t have time. So yes, I bravely don the second left sock on my only right foot and strap on my spikes.

17:40. Time to head to the ‘call room’ to check in before the race. Two guys who have been sat at a table all day cheerfully tell me that 4 of my competitors have checked in, there is one more to come and one has withdrawn. This is the last race of a long day, but they are still smiling.

So there are only going to be 6 of us in the M35 race. Two are far faster than me, then the rest of us are reasonably similarly paced. A bronze medal is on if I stick to my plan. I’ve got a plan based on my last race: I want the first 400m to be 70s. 71secs each for the next two 400m. Kick for the last 300m for something in the low 50s. I need to not get carried away at the start trying to beat the two fast guys, and if anyone else gets off to a flyer, just believe that they will fade.

We get called to the start. I’m called third based on my PB in relation to the others. Another reminder that third is where I need to finish as a minimum.

A hush descends on the stadium and the starter calls us to our mark. The gun goes off. I am a terrible starter, always on the back foot at the start.

We hit the first corner with the usual nudges and everyone tripping over each other slightly. I know I’ve over compensated for my slow start, but want to get a clear gap to run in behind the lead two. I hit 100m in about 15seconds which is too fast. That’s faster than my 400m pace, nevermind my 1500m pace. I ease back slightly, very much in 3rd place. One lap, two laps and I complete the first 400m is 69.6 seconds – bang on.

Except suddenly I realise that while the two leaders are long gone, everyone else is stacked up behind me. I know I have run faster than them before, but only by a couple of seconds. What if they’ve improved recently too? I have a fast finish, but maybe they do too? I’d hoped to give myself a couple of seconds’ buffer. But what if I overdo the next 800m and blow up? I want the medal, not a PB. I find myself dropping off my toes and running back on my heels, slowing and slowing down.

Two more laps and I’ve run the second 400m in 74.3. That’s not good, over 3 seconds off my plan. I’m almost running at 3k pace. I’m still in third, but start to worry that the pack behind is just cruising behind me. I want to pick it up, but now I’m not sure I can. Did that first 100m take more out of me than I thought? Have I already blown this? I’m also getting confused because I’m trying to pace it like a 400m track but it’s a 200m one. And there’s a clock just around the bottom bend that I keep turning to look at even though I have no idea what it means because it’s not at any particular point of the track. What am I doing?

The next 400m are agonising. 73.5 seconds. Way off my target again, my heels are striking the ground like big foot. I can see the shadows behind me getting closer and closer. As I get toward the final 300m I can hear someone on my shoulder. I try to do the maths – I’ve run 3 seconds faster than the guys behind recently, but I’ve run the mid 800m 5.5 seconds slower than planned. If they are faster finishers than me, then I’ve lost third. I need to start running properly.

300m to go, I finally get back on my toes and stretch my legs. Somebody has dropped out, so there are three of us racing for the last medal. The guy on my shoulder moves to the right to overtake me as we hit the bend. Fortunately I know I’m good on the bends, he’s not going to get round me here!

220m to go, I’ve built a gap I’m sure. Only 0.5 seconds or so but I sense he’s a little further back. Finally it feels like I’m running properly, I’m now on my fore foot. I cross the line and get the final lap bell. 200m to go – it is now or never.

I hit the penultimate bend and it all suddenly clicks. I need to turn my legs over faster, increase my cadence asap. I fly round the bend and I know I’ve made another 0.5 secs on the guys behind. I can’t hear or sense him anymore. I just need to hold it.

I’ve no idea what’s happening ahead now, no idea where the leaders are. I’ve 100m left to get myself a British Masters championship medal on my first attempt. I am not letting this go now.

It’s an all-out sprint to the line. I’ve no idea what time I am running in. I get round the final bend and I can see the winners have finished which means the clock has stopped on the winning time, so I have no idea what my time will be. But I also know for the first time that I have got that final medal. I’ve pulled away, I know there’s a gap and as long as I can push to the line I’m driving home happy.

I cross the line and stop my watch. I’ve finished third. I have a medal! And then it gets better – one of the front two is a guest competitor and not eligible for a medal. I’ve got the silver!

Overall my time is 0.8 seconds slower than my last 1500m. Seeing as I had lost almost 6 seconds in the middle of the race I realise I have run a very fast (for me) final 300m. Leading a chasing pack was a new experience so I’m really pleased to have held them off to the end. For the first time I think at this distance, I haven’t got a new PB…but I have got the medal I came for.

Joe's first indoor competition

Joe’s first indoor competition

‘Get to know’… Holly Freeman

The girl with the Colgate smile.

The girl with the Colgate smile.

Name: Holly Freeman
Role on committee: Social Secretary

1. When did you join Arena? – Er….ask Jenny Hughes….! I believe it was June 2012. I was previously a member of the Running Sisters, for which I was also on the club committee.

2.  How long have you been running? – I started running in 2005 – bereavement in my immediate family drove my initial running interest as a way to fundraise for Cancer Research UK, I now run for different reasons.

3. Where did you grow up? – I was born in Edmonton, (north London) and grew up in Welwyn Garden City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.

4. What was the last thing you ate? – Quinoa and chickpea salad; I like to eat healthy, nutritious and natural food as much as possible. I have recently completed a 6 week course learning about nutrition and the science of the body which I think we all take for granted.

5. Where’s your favourite hangout place? – Anywhere in the sunshine, I love heat and I love the sunshine.

6. What’s your biggest inspiration? – The many wonders of the world, of which many, I have been lucky enough to see first-hand. Friendly, energetic, positive, selfless people (regardless of what they have in life) also inspire me.

7. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? – Homemade lasagne

8. What 1 thing would you take with you on a deserted island? – I would take a best friend, experiences are much better when shared and I wouldn’t know what to do with myself on my own. I would of course go to the deserted island with my running gear on.

9. Who is your sporting hero? – I don’t really have one, maybe Chris Froome, maybe Haile Gebrselassie, but for me it is anyone that achieves on any level, if it is achieved by putting in dedication, focus, discipline, strength and determination to their sport.

10. Which are your favourite smells? – Freshly baked bread and the smell of the outdoors; the seaside/countryside

11. Is there anything you hope to achieve in the next 5 years? – I would like to get to be a better runner, but I am not sure that is going to happen. I would like to have dived in a new location and walked the Camino de Santiago.

12. What makes you happy? – Being around smiley, energetic people, feeling fit and healthy and drinking ale!

13. What’s your all-time favourite film? – The Outsiders

14. What is your motto in life? – If it doesn’t kill you it only makes you stronger.

15. What’s something we don’t know about you? – I have done both a bungee jump and a parachute jump in the same day!

16. What’s the one thing you can’t live without? – Friendships

17. Describe your childhood days? – Going to Roller Disco, playing tennis, playing in the woods, in swallow holes…for example…

18. Why do you run? – I run to lose weight and to be healthy and to encourage others to exercise and be healthy. I also run because it is sociable, it brings people together. I run because I like to try and achieve, there is no better feeling than completing a race, especially if you have clocked a p.b.

19. First celebrity crush? – Tom Cruise

20. Name 3 (dead or alive) people you would like to have round for dinner? –
Tom Cruise
Edward Norton
Bradley Cooper
(Do you think I am shallow?)

Thank you Holly for giving us an insight into you life.

There will be another ‘get to know’… next Wednesday.

‘Get to know’… Danny Cartledge

Mickey or Minnie? You decide.

Mickey or Minnie? You decide.

Name: Daniel Cartledge

Role on committee: Still in negotiations

1. When did you join Arena: 2012

2. How long have you been running: 2012

3. Where did you grow up: Nottimgham

4. What is your favourite item of clothing: Batman lounge pants

5. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4, what do the first 10 words say: A book, what’s one of those ?

6. What is the last thing you watched on TV: Don’t watch tv

7. Think fast, what do you like right now: Pick n mix

8. What do you think about the most: Pick n mix

9. Who is your sporting hero: Ronnie o Sullivan 

10. What is the last film you saw at the pictures: The new Star Wars film 

11. Do you sing at home: All the time

12. What do you do most when you are bored: Eat

13. What are your best characteristics: I’m the class clown

14. Are you a morning person or a night owl: Morning glory 

15. What’s something we don’t know about you: I eat a lot

16. What is your best childhood memory: None specifically but Riding my BMX

17. What are your favourite sweets: Pick n mix

18. What was the last song you purchased:  Keane – sovereign light café

19. What is the greatest invention ever: YouTube

20. What are you most excited about in 2016: Turning 40

‘Get to know’… Jenny Hughes

Looking sheepish Jenny.

Looking sheepish Jenny.

Name: Jenny Hughes

Role on committee: Membership Secretary

1. When did you join Arena: 1995

2. How long have you been running: Started as a sprinter in junior school

3. Where did you grow up: Eastbourne

4. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning: What day is it

5. What do you do for fun: Gardening

6. If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, who would you pick:
Jenny Hughes

7. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be:
Fish fingers, beans and chips

8. What’s your favourite website: M&S

9. Who is your sporting hero: Geoff “Hat Trick” Hurst

10. How do you start a conversation: Have you paid your subs yet?

11. Have you ever had or do you have a nickname: Jen Wren

12. What makes you happy: Sunny warm days in the garden

13. What do you fear: Potato blight

14. What was the last thing you dressed up as for fancy dress: Black cat… purr

15. What’s something we don’t know about you: I used to be a milliner

16. What’s the one thing you can’t live without: My family

17. What are your favourite sweets: Jelly babies

18. What was the first song you ever purchased: My pony macaroni

19. What is your party piece: I don’t go to parties cause I don’t get invited,
and that’s alright by me

20. What’s the last photo you took on your phone: Poppy the cat

‘Get to know’… Caroline Wood

Somewhere in a galaxy far far away.

Somewhere in a galaxy far far away.

Name: Caroline Wood

Role on committee: Club Secretary

 1.    When did you join Arena: Summer 2008

 2.    How long have you been running: jogging to keep fit for hillwalking since my
mid-20s.  Running seriously since 2008

 3.   Where did you grow up: Born in Surrey and lived in central Scotland from age of 9

 4.  What accomplishment are you most proud of: the two things of which I am  most proud are completing all the Munros (Scottish Mountains over 3000 ft ) and running for England Masters XC team in my 40s and 50s

 5.  What do you do for fun: Volunteering for the National Trust at Sheffield Park where my favourite job is going in the lake in waders to thin the lillies 

 6.  If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go: Pakistan – Karakoram

 7.   What was the last book you read: Running for the B Team – Mike Bannister

 8.  Name 3 (dead or alive) people you would like to have round for dinner: Jo Pavey, David Attenborough, Ernest Shackleton

 9.   Who is your sporting hero: Jo Pavey

 10. If you were a type of animal, what would you be and why: a gerbil.  Believe it or not they have great personalities

 11. If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn: to ring wild birds

 12. What’s the first thing you notice about people: their size

 13. What’s your biggest inspiration: a lovely sunrise and the dawning of a new day

 14. What would you say to your younger self: don’t sweat the small stuff

 15. What’s something most people don’t know about you: I’m colour blind

 16. What’s the one thing you can’t live without: cheese

 17. Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving: None of them – life is exciting enough

 18. What is your favourite album ever:  The best of Spandau Ballet

 19. What drives you to do what you do: What motivates you: To be the best I can be 

 20. What’s your favourite word or phrase: Carpe diem (for those of us that don’t know the meaning – the enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future).

Carline just loves the grass and mud.

Carline just loves the grass and mud.

‘Get to know’…Graham Shorter

Tracking time as well as figures.

Tracking time as well as figures.

Name: Graham Shorter

Role on committee: Treasurer

1. When did you join Arena: I didn’t know it was coming apart (1989)

2. Why did you choose Arena: No one else would have me.

3. How long have you been running: Flatterer, I’d hardly call it running.

4. What got you started:  Jump leads

5. Isn’t running boring:  Only when you have to go round the track more than once.

6. What was the best advice you have ever been given: Give up.

7. What is your biggest accomplishment in your life sporting or non: First sub 3 hour marathon, ad being married for 36 years oh and going sub 70 for first time in golf.

8. Who is your sporting hero: Bob Page

9. What’s your running song: I would walk 500 miles (in my dreams)

10. What’s your favourite piece of running kit: The old trainers that I threw away not all that long ago. we’d been through a lot together

11. If you didn’t run what else would you be doing: Snoring

12. What’s your biggest inspiration: Bob Page

13. What would you say to your younger self: Don’t do it

14. What’s your favourite place on earth: Withdean on a cold, wet, windy Monday night.

15. What’s the one thing you can’t live without: Food, I adore it!

16. What’s your favourite food: Difficult this, either Mr Whippy ice cream or Banoffee pie (or both together)

17. What’s the greatest invention ever: Food

18. What would be your dream sandwich: Bacon, egg, sausage, onion

19. What’s your favourite word or phrase: That’s tonight’s session finished

20. Anything else you’d like to share: Not my food, that’s for sure