Monthly Archives: March 2017

Luan Ke Kuynh conquers Antarctica Marathon 2017.

During the Spring/Summer season of 2016 Arena 80 were joined by Luan Ke Huynh, an athlete from Denmark.

Luan was working in Brighton for a while and was looking for a running club to join as he was training for the Antarctica Marathon. He found Arena and soon made his mark on the club by gracing us with his presence in the club records. He currently holds 2nd place in the clubs Hove Prom parkrun in 16.29 and 3rd place in the clubs 10 miles in 59.01. There is no doubting that had Luan been with us for longer, he would have clearly made dents in the other club records as well. 

Luan sadly had to leave Brighton due to his job taking him back home but I’m sure his time here at Arena 80 stood him in good stead and will have helped in his quest for this ultimate In Marathon challanges.

No crowd control needed for this one.

We have had a message from Luan to let us know how this incredible adventure went for him.

“The feeling of succeeding when you are going all in. Now one of the few and one of the youngest in the world with a completed marathon on each continent. And I won my first and last marathon – Antarctica Marathon 2017 Winner (March 11th): 3:24.22. Thanks for the support from my family back home, USA and Canada. My friends/colleagues for always listening to me and my running mates for pushing me the entire way. Never thought I would get to know to so many people world wide, revisit my family in USA, Canada and live abroad in Brighton along this amazing and crazy journey. 34 years old – I feel like a 24 year-old”.

From everyone here at Arena 80 we must congratulate you on such an amazing achievement and to thank you for being a part of Arena whilst you were in Brighton. It was our pleasure to have you along and we look forward to hearing of many more of your running successes.

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

Get to know…Tamar Coleman

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the lovely lady who gave you Oatopia. If you’ve ever been in the presence of Tamar (or better known as Tam) you’ll be drawn in by her wonderful smile and easy laidback manner. An absolute please to hang out with and great company to have along on the Arena team events. So let’s give it up for one of the old skool Arena posse, I give you Tam Coleman.

Name: Tamar Coleman

1. When and why did you join Arena: 
A long time ago, pre records it seems but guessing about 23 years ago.
I was sat outside the sportsman pub with a drink one sunny evening and  people were running around the track and I knew I had to have some of that and went down to see what was what you know the rest…. 

2. How long have you been running: 
Used to jog with my dad at about 16 years old so thats about 40 years!!!!! Yikes
(not sure I wanted to confront all this information). 

3. Where did you grow up: 
Cricklewood. N.W.London.

4. What do the last five words of the last text sent to you say:
Have a bless evening. 

5. What do you do for fun:
Walk our gorgeous Siberian Husky Indie. 

6. What are your three favourite apps on your phone:
Strava – Sleep app  – FB. 

7. What would your epitaph say:
Queen Oat. 

8. What is the one must watch thing for you on TV:
Game of Thrones.

9. What was the last book you read:
I Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.

10. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up:
Running 100%.

11. What were you like a school:
A bit too successful at avoiding it ;-(

12. What is your one weakness:

13. Who was you first celebrity crush pop star and film star:
David Bowie. Richard Gere.

14. If you could eat lunch with three famous people, who would you choose:
Marilyn Munroe, Princess Di and Anne Frank.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
 I used to race Speed needle windsurfers at Weymouth speed week got to about 32knots.

16. Who is your sporting hero:
Denise Lewis.

17. Apart from running what else do you do with your time: 
Oatopia (our flapjack business is trying to take over).

18. What type of music do you like most:

19. What do you consider to be your best ever race:
European triathlon Champs in Athlone Ireland. Fought to maintain second the entire race and succeeded.

20. What’s the most amazing thing you have ever done:
Simple had two gorgeous daughters.

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

Get to know…Mark O’Gara

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the man who has great ambitions for 2017. Mark is just about to embark on his most ambitious (or stupid) Spring marathon season with four marathons in 7 weeks. This will include the Barcelona Marthon and then a sub-3 attempt at Manchester on April 2nd and then followed by Brighton (his 7th time0 and then topping it all off with London. No one can accuse Mark of not trying and for those that have had the pleasure of training with Mark then you will no that he takes no prisoners with his training regime, there are no half measures with him. Mark is an absolute gent and a real pleasure to have in the club and he is one of life’s good eggs. Ladies and gentlemen I think you are going to enjoy thie read so please be seated comfortably and let’s begin…

Name: Mark O’Gara

1. When did you join Arena:
June 2011.

2. How long have you been running:
Since 2006, properly since 2009 (Bob would probably point out that I have never run properly!).

3. Where did you grow up:

4. What was the last thing you bought:
Two pints of Guinness and a bag of nuts after the Brighton HM, better than a recovery milkshake! (admin says: these questions were given to Mark a few weeks ago so please don’t think he’s tight with his cash).

5. What one thing (not human) would you take with you on a deserted island:
A giant tool box to get me started on building a decent shelter. Anyone who knows me, will know this is totally ridiculous as I come out in a rash at the thought of any DIY, but just being practical.

6. What were you like at school:
One of my school reports described me as having potential to do well at school if I stop trying to be the ‘clown of the class’.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
The 16 months my wife (Lara) and I spent travelling and we will do it again one day, hopefully some of it with the kids.

8. Name 3 people that you would have round for dinner (living or deceased):
Peter Kay, Michael Palin and Billy Connolly.

9. Tell us about something you’re proud to have achieved:
Having left school with no qualifications whatsoever just before my 16th birthday and then going straight into a factory job it would have to be gaining my GCSE’s and A-Levels at college In the evenings whilst I was working full time during my early – mid 20’s. I failed all my exams in the first year, but I picked myself up and persevered. This then opened the door to university in Brighton and then professional qualifications (sometimes it does not pay to be the clown of the class!).

Running wise is probably my 2.57 at last year’s Paris Marathon. It was great to break the mythical barrier after a few attempts, but to be honest the marathon itself was non-eventful and went bang on plan which I suppose reinforces the mantra ‘trust in your training’.

10. What’s your favourite book, magazine or comic:
Ooh tough one, no one particular favourite but on the list would be Lord of the rings – Tolkien, Midnight’s children – Rushdie, Around the world in 80 day’s – Jules Verne, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Thompson.

11. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I have Australian citizenship, can’t you tell by my accent!!

12. Have you ever won anything:
The football team I played in from under12 to under 16 won the league and cup every year. I have to admit I was mainly a substitute as it was a really good team (and I wasn’t that good). However, I did share the subs bench in the last year with a certain Mark Robins who wen ton to play for Manchester United (he was also not good enough to gain a regular place in the team).

13. What do you do to relax:
DIY (ha ha). Lara would say I’m permanently relaxing and very good at shirking responsibilities around the house. I do enjoy summer Saturday afternoons/evenings in the garden, having a beer and Barbie with family and friends. there is an official invitation for anyone from Arena who wants to pop round after this years Downlands fun run (admin says: Sunday 25th June for those wanting to party) which takes place across the road from our house.

14. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try:
As an accountant is there any other job more exciting that you would want to try, I’m already living the dream….

15. What did you do with your time before running:
Obsessed about getting a visa and moving the family to Australia. With the residency visa in place I waited until Lara was sleep depraved a week after the birth of our second child and convinced her now was the time to make the move for a few years until the kids reached school age then we could move back to Brighton. Before Lara realised what she’d agreed to, I had booked the flights and handed in my notice at work. A few months later we had stored all our possessions in the loft, rented the house out and moved to Perth with just four suitcases and two pushchairs for the kids!

16. What is most important in life:
Obviously family and friends are number one but I would also say making your dreams become a reality whether it be career, sport or anything else. many ambitions and dreams can be realised, you just have to plan the route and run the course to reach the goal, (‘m impressed with myself there, quite a profound statement and managed to link it to running!!!).

17. Who in your life has influenced you the most:
Another tough one, I think I always have and always will be influenced by those around me at the time, pick up the good points and try and apply them.

18. What’s your earliest memory of a toy that you had:
My red airport fire truck, loved it.

19. Have you anything you want to do on your bucket list:
Spending a year or two travelling around Europe and the Australia in a campervan/caravan.
Running wise – Comrades.

20. Who is your sporting hero:
Sir Alex Ferguson.
My running sporting hero is my mate at work Diane. She has a can do attitude and anything is possible, inspirational. At aged fifty, Di ran fifty races in a year including Beachy Head Marathon on the Saturday backed up with Barnes Green HM on the Sunday. Last year at 60 she ran the SDW50, London to Brighton and the SDW100 in 23 hours. Di is a beginners coach at Burgess Hill RC and responsible for me getting into running.

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

Get to know…Kristina Hine

For this weeks chosen member, we are joined by one of the most improved athletes from the last 2 years. To see how Kristina has grown in her running has been a real joy to watch. A quiet lady who just gets on with it and does the business when the show starts. She is one of the, what I call, four pack and can often be seen along side her running buddies of Bob Potipher, Emma Habba and Jo Philimore which actually make up a great team. Kristina is a real pleasure to have at the club and a great asset to the ladies team as well. Please raise your lighters in the air and lets meet Kristina Hine.

Name: Kristina Hine

1. When and why did you join Arena:
October 2013 – thought it was about time I did some training.

2. How long have you been running:
I’d always liked running but never trained properly until I joined arena. I ‘ran’ the 2010 Brighton marathon in 6 hours 19 and have improved my time nearly every year since.

3. Where did you grow up:
In Gillingham in Kent where my family all still live.

4. What do the last five words of the last text sent to you say:
‘Will call back when they go. Sorry’ from my mum.

5. What were your hobbies as a child:
I played football for teams from age 6 to 20.

6. How long does it take you to get ready to go out:
I’m quick at getting ready so 15/20minutes.

7. If you could have dinner with 3 people past or present, who would you choose:
Kelly Sotherton, Emma Watson and Paul Scholes.

8. What’s your favourite kind of drink: 
Coca- cola.

9. Do you sing out aloud when you are on your own:
Not even I want to have to hear that

10. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up: 

11. What were you like a school:
Shy, lazy with schoolwork but good at PE.

12. What is your one weakness:
Anything with sugar – chocolate, sweets, biscuits, fizzy drinks.

13. Who was you first celebrity crush pop star and film star:
Can’t really remember Peter Andre maybe.

14. Grab the book nearest or magazine, turn to page 55, and find line 14, what does it say:
“And yet I felt a clear sense that he also enjoys celebrity status” from Mike Bannister’s book – running for the b-team.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I was a volunteer at the 2012 Olympics. I was a steward at the Olympic stadium – it was amazing.

16. Who is your sporting hero:
Paula Radcliffe.

17. If you were given a yacht, what would you name it:
I’m the least creative person ever so I would call it ‘HMS yacht’.

18. Apart from running what else do you like to do in your free time:
I go to the cinema all the time and if I’m not at the cinema I’m watching tv.

19. Tell us something you would like to accomplish during your lifetime:
I’m a simple being and I’d just like a family, a decent job and some good holidays.

20. If you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be:
Motivated, independent and passionate.

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

Get to know…Michael Barker

Bad boy Barker hanging out at home.

For this weeks chosen member, we are joined by the man with the biggest running stride that you will ever see. I believe that one of his strides equates to 3 for the average runner. He has a big smile with a big heart and truly a gentleman of a modern day era. For those of you that have had the pleasure of running with Michael then you will know all about him already but he really is the most genuine guy you could wish to meet. A relaxed persona and very un-phased about much in his life. Michael has recently got married and now settling in to the marriage and running balance. A much respected athlete by his peers with a lot of potential still to come and so ladies and gentlemen please be upstanding for Mr Michael Barker.

Name: Michael Barker

1. When did you join Arena:

2. How long have you been running:
Age 10-13, then started again in 2012.

3. Where did you grow up:

4. What is your weirdest “quirk”:
I can open a beer bottle with my toes.

5. What types of holidays do you prefer:

6. What’s your favourite film:
Rocky 1.

7. Best live band you have seen:
Mumford and sons.

8. Have you got or ever had a nickname:
Bad Boy Barker & Mackerel

9. Are you usually late, early or right on time person:
On time.

10. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up:

11. What is your goal for 2017:
Sub 17 for the 5K.

12. What do you get most excited about:

13. Have you ever had a celebrity crush:

14. Why do you run:
Therapy & Pleasure.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I love Reggae.

16. Who is your sporting hero:
Usain Bolt.

17. What would you say to your younger self:
Work hard & don’t worry about the small things, there’s more to life.

18. Grab the nearest book or magazine, turn to page 58, and find line 10, what do the first 10 words say:
So far we have this dismembered torso of what looks.

19. What is your one weakness:

20. At this moment in time what can you hear:
Lisa singing ‘Touch’ by Little Mix (badly).

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