Monthly Archives: September 2016

Wolverhampton 10K and Marathon – 4 September 2016 – race report

Wolverhampton 10K and Marathon – 4 September 2016

Graham Shorter

Yes, you read that correctly. The old bloke who bimbles round at the back on a Monday night actually did a race. For those of you newer to the club, I did actually used to be able to run, 80 minutes half marathons, sub 3 hour marathons until ankle surgery put an end to all that about 15 years ago.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's Graham Shorter.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?…..

Nowadays my competitive juices are satisfied by the triple jump, in the top 10 in the UK for the over 60’s in 2015 (yes, I know there are probably only 10 over 60 triple jumpers in the UK).

My younger son (Dave) now lives in Telford and volunteered to do the Wolverhampton marathon to raise funds for his mother in law’s school. I’ve offered support and advice throughout his training, so said I would go up for the weekend of the race. About 2 weeks before, he said that the 10K wasn’t full, so did I fancy doing that! HELP!! Apart from the ill fated Adur challenge in 2015 (Graham’s Folly anyone) I haven’t run that far in one go for donkey’s years.

So I entered. Duly received my number with a chip in it (to show how out of touch I am with racing, I thought that chip timing meant watching the oven to see how long they would take to cook). The whole set up on the day was really good, although I was amazed at the low number of runners for a city marathon, 354 for the 10K, 597 for the half and only 224 for the marathon. My only reservation was that Molineux was being used as a car park for the event, so mine, resplendent with an assortment of Albion stickers, looked a bit out of place.

Dave’s aforementioned mother in law (Mary) and loads more from her school were all doing the 10K, so I had someone to chat to after the marathon had started before we ran. She does a bit of running so there was definitely incentive for me to go well and get the family bragging rights.

On the entry form I had to put my expected finishing time. I had no idea what to put, so went for 56 minutes, more out of hope than anything else, thinking that 9 minute miling might just be possible. Suddenly it was time, so we lined up. Mary asked where we should stand. My pathetic response was that I really had no idea, except not too near the front!

And off we went. I seemed to drop into a reasonable rhythm, with no real idea of pace until I got to the first K marker, which I reached in 5mins 25 seconds. Not too bad I thought, just a bit quicker than target and I’d left Mary and the rest floundering in my wake. Then someone fell over in front of me, so I wasted precious time making sure they were OK. Strangely, I fell into the same rhythm and maintained pretty much the same pace until 9K, when I thought, not far to go now, let’s push on. And I did! Finished in 53 mins 23, 111th out of 354, and 3rd man over 60! Mary did 1hour 1min, so I’m the king!

For a first marathon, Dave did OK. He’s struggled to put the training in, partly due to having a 16 month old son and partly due to his shift work. He did join his local club, Lawley Runners, to try and get some training with others, but having paid his annual fee, three weeks later they tried to sting him for the next annual fee, having not told him that the first one only had 3 weeks to run. Disgraceful, I said Arena would never be so mercenary, so he told them where to stick it. So all his training was on his own.

He’d done 20 miles at 10 minute pace as his last long run, so he was hopeful of getting around four and a half hours. He went through half way in 2 hours, which was probably a bit quick, as he started calf cramping at around 20 miles. Having finished my race, I ran the marathon course backwards (you know what I mean) and met up with him at around 24 miles so that I could run the last bit with him. Is that pretty extreme parenting or just plain stupid?  He was suffering by then which I became aware of due to the frequent expletive followed by a sudden stop as he cramped. He finished in 4 hours 52, and the good news is that he wants to do another marathon, it hasn’t put him off.

As far as the race goes, it’s not really one that I would recommend, although looking at the results, Arena runners would do very well. My PB for a marathon would have got me third place this year. The organisation was first class. All 3 races are reasonably flat, just a few inclines to keep it interesting. There are road closures, but they aren’t comprehensive and didn’t last all that long, so there is a good bit of mingling with traffic, hardly ideal when you’re knackered at the end of a marathon. The course is not exactly riveting, but then it is Wolverhampton.

So am I now full of enthusiasm to rekindle my endurance career. Maybe, but I know I can’t because if I run more than once a week, my foot would probably fall off. But did I enjoy it as a one off, most definitely!!

Graham Shorter

(Admin says “if you would like to do a write up on any race that you have taken part in, then please do send them in for our race reports to: arena80ac@hotmail.co.uk)

Get to Know…Louise Payne

Andy Payne hasn't changed much.

Andy Payne hasn’t changed much.

This week we are joined by the perfect human metronome who goes by the name of Louise Payne. If you ever need perfect pacing around the track or in a race then look no further than Louise. One of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet so ladies and gentlemen for this week’s Q&A’s lets delve into the world of Mrs Payne.

Name: Louise Payne

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I think I joined in 2009, Jenny Hughes suggested it and I had the ulterior motive of seeing more of Andy (It must have worked as he married me!).

2. How long have you been running:
Around 11 years.

3. Where did you grow up:
Horley, Surrey.

4. What was the last thing you ate: 
A bakewell tart.

5. Where’s your favourite hangout place:
Sea Lane Café in Goring.

 6. What’s your biggest inspiration: 
You can achieve anything as long as you believe in yourself.

7. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be:
Goats cheese salad.

8. What 1 thing would you take with you on a deserted island: 
Anti wrinkle cream.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Jessica Ennis Hill.

10. Which are your favourite smells: 
Cakes baking, clean washing on the line and babies.

11. Is there anything you hope to achieve in the next 5 years:
To gain an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted inspection in Early Years – boring I know – sorry!

12. What makes you happy:
When others around me are happy and smiling.

13. What’s your all-time favourite film:
Rain Man.

14. What is your motto in life:
I always say to my daughters ‘Be nice to people and they will be nice to you.

15. What’s something we don’t know about you:
I faint at the sight of blood so don’t rely on me as a medical marshal. Last faint was watching ‘Call the Midwife’ which has now been banned!

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

17. Describe your childhood days: 
Happy, secure, carefree and privileged.

18. Why do you run:  
To keep fit, to feel good and to avoid breaking the bathroom scales.

19. First celebrity crush:
Peter Noone from Hermans Hermits.

20. Name 3 (dead or alive) people you would like to have round for dinner:
Mark Cavendish, Nigel Havers and Pam Ferris.

Our biggest thanks to Louise for taking time out for her Q&A’s and we hope that you now have a bit more of an insight in to Louise’s world. Check back next Wednesday for another set of Q&A’s with our chosen club member.

Get to Know…Rob Derkin

A shot taken from Quadrophenia.

A shot taken from Quadrophenia.

This week’s chosen one comes is a modern-day gentleman. He is a man who goes about his running quietly but with purpose. For those of you that don’t know Rob Derkin then I would ask you to take a little time out to meet/chat to him. A great sense of humour and an intelligent guy (yes ladies, they do exist in men) and the man behind the set-up of the Arena website that has really grown this year. (Admin says “I’m not meant tell this part but Rob was also an extra in Quadrophenia back in the day as Rob was and is an old school mod. Ssh don’t tell him I told you”). Let’s find out a little more about Mr Rob Derkin.

Name: Rob Derkin

1. When did you join Arena:
May 2012.

2. How long have you been running?
About 5 years.

3. Where did you grow up?
Brighton.

4. Which three words describe you best?
Non-Compliant.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time?
Play instruments, Listen to music, Watch Nordic Noir box sets, Read.

6. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
My new bike arrived.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Running on Santorini as the sun came up.

8. What was your favourite subject at school?
Art, PE, Computer Studies. Unfortunately we had to write our code out on paper as there wasn’t a computer.

9. Who is your sporting hero?
Chronologically  Ovett, Bergkamp, Farah.

10. Which is your favourite dessert?
Sahara …with custard.

11. Have you anything on your bucket list that you still want to do?
I’ve not made a list.

12. What is your favorite drink?
Ice cold San Pellegrino Lemonata.

13. What would your epitaph say?
What was that!

14. What was your favourite toy as a kid?
Skateboard.

15. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
£$%in Seagulls!

16. Which time period would you visit in history?
1980s.

17. Quote a line from one of your favourite songs.
‘Curiosity was far greater than our fear
It felt so simple and so prodigious at the same time’
(admin says “a 1992 indie track by Stereolab titled Peng! 33).

18. Are you scared of anything?
Being knocked off a horse with a lance and battered over the head with a mace.

19. If you didn’t run what other sport would you like to have done?
Possibly Jousting – (In full armour obvs).

20. What was the last book you read?
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman.

Robs scooter hasn't lasted the test of time though.

Unlike Rob his scooter hasn’t stood the test of time well.

Our biggest thanks to Rob for taking time out for his Q&A’s and we hope that you now have a bit more of an insight in to Rob’s world. Check back next Wednesday for another set of Q&A’s with our chosen club member.

Admin says “I found this CD and the guy second from the right is Rob Derkin”.

Proper Mod.

Proper Mod.

Get to Know…Soulla Wright

A little ray of sunshine.

This week’s choice is a relatively new comer to Arena 80 but definitely no stranger when it comes to running. For those of you that have been at the track recently the you will surely not have missed the sun kissed lady in the white vest top. Soulla joined Arena as she wanted to improve on speed for her next marathon as she says and I quote “I’m a plodder when it comes to running”. I beg to differ as her half marathon time clocks in at 1.31 and her marathon time clocks in at 3.14 (admin says “I wish I could plod that fast”). So let’s find out a little more about Soulla.

Name: Soulla Wright

1. When did you join Arena:
May 2016

2. How long have you been running:
  About 10 years

3. Where did you grow up:
  Brighton born and bred.

4. What was the last thing you ate: 
Jelly babies

5. Where’s your favourite hangout place:
Any good coffee shop. 

6. What’s your biggest inspiration: 
My daughters

7. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be:
Pad Thai with prawns

8. What 1 thing would you take with you on a deserted island: 
Kindle (full of good reads)

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Has to be Paula Radcliffe 

10. What types of holidays do you prefer: 
Long Hot ones!

11. Is there anything you hope to achieve in the next 5 years:
Would love to run all the major marathons but due to time and finances will probably take a bit longer than 5 years!

12. What makes you happy:
Sunshine ☀

13. What’s your all-time favourite film:
 Amelie

14. What is your motto in life:
 Never regret anything that made you smile

15. What’s something we don’t know about you:
I was once so bored at work I pretended to faint so I could go home. ( in my defence I was a teenager and it was a very boring job)

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

17. Describe your childhood days: 
Dysfunctional but happy

18. What makes you go wow:  
Gary McKivetts marathon times!
(Admin says: Gary McKivett London 2016 – 2h 36m 41s and 2nd in the men’s marathon club records).

19. First celebrity crush:
Morton Harket from Aha

20. Name 3 (dead or alive) people you would like to have round for dinner:
Johnny Depp
Maya Angelou
Audrey Hepburn

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

Get to Know…Del Wallace

1. del

We are very happy to shape up this week’s Q&A’s with one of the stayers of Arena 80. Starting off September to weigh in with his get to know answers, he is under starters orders and with a lovely photo finish. Here is a man who is a classic although there may be a stewards enquiry out on this. A man for all-weather and definitely someone keen to be seen in the winners enclosure. Let’s bolt upright and take a hold of this post to read at length one of the nicest athletes you will ever get to meet and never seen without a smile. Ladies and gentlemen I give you Del Wallace. Don’t worry it doesn’t go on furlong. (Admin apologies for so many inexcusable puns).

Name: Del Wallace

1. When and why did you join Arena:
February 2015.

2. How long have you been running:
Since March 2009.

3. Where did you grow up:
Hangleton.

4. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
Peru – Inca Trail…..fascinating place.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your time:
WORK! Riding racehorses every day! Love listening & dancing to trance music.

6. What would you say to your younger self:
Be more dedicated.

7. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be:
Roast beef dinner with all the trimmings.

8. What’s your favourite website: 
Sky Sports. Love my sports.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Alessandro Del Piero. Always wanted to play football like him as a kid…..He was a brilliant player.

10. What is your favourite album ever:
Oasis – What’s the story morning glory. First album I bought….. Fab!

11. Have you ever had or do you have a nickname:
Many nicknames over the years but the two most used are Diego & Del Piero.

12. What makes you happy:
Going out for a nice meal with my girlfriend.

13. What was the last thing you bought:
Lionel Richie tickets for Las Vegas this month….Excited!! (Admin says “he has been running with Al Silvester far too long”).

14. What’s something you miss the most from childhood:
Playing football on the green and having no worries.

15. What’s something we don’t know about you:
I have a 16 year old daughter and I’m also a qualified barber.

16. What’s the one thing you can’t live without:
Chocolate and biscuits!

17. What is the hardest thing you ever had to do: 
First race ride at Newmarket. The pressure of getting it right for the trainer and owner.

18. What are your three most used apps:
Sky Sports, Strava and Twitter.

19. What were you like at school:
Sporty and stroppy!

20. What’s the last photo you took on your phone:
My number 666 @ Newick 10k. It brought the little devil out in me.

Our biggest thanks to Del for his Q&A’s and a great insight to this man. Check back next Wednesday for another set of Q&A’s with our chosen club member.