Category Archives: News

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.

An improvement to the men’s club records at Worthing parkrun.

It was a sunny and hot Worthing parkrun that was the place to be this morning with no less than three club record improvements as well as four new PB’s from our athletes.

First off we go to Al ‘The Shuffler’ Silvester who thought he would pop over to Worthing to have another crack it. Al was just 8 seconds off James Dicks’ club records as Al came home in 2nd place overall in his new PB time of 16.37 beating his previous best 16.44. This still holds Al in 2nd place in the men’s Worthing parkrun club records but now puts himself 49 seconds clear of 3rd place Michael Barker. Now we know likes to do things in style so, not being content with his PB, Al took it upon himself to take the men’s age grading record at the same time with his new age grading of 79.84%. Nice day’s work Al.

The men’s club records for Worthing now look like this:
Worthing parkrun Men
1 James Dicks 2016 16m 29s
2 Al Silvester 2017 16m 37s
3 Michael Barker 2017 17m 26s
4 Jim Risdale 2017 17m 34s
5 James Gladman 2016 17m 51s

The other club improvement comes in the form of the age grading record where Kevin Lowe took a new PB time of 20.09 knocking off 7 seconds his previous best which was 20.16 set in 2016. However it’s Kevin’s age grading record that has made the biggest difference here as he moves up two places in the records from 5th to 3rd spot with his new age grading being set at 78.91%.

The men’s age grading club records for Worthing now look like this:
Age grading
1 Al Silvester – 79.84%
2 Andy Payne – 79.42%
3 Kevin Lowe – 78.91%  
4 Trevor day – 78.79%
5 James Dicks – 78.26%

The other names to note here are David Kemp who notched up his new PB time of 20.21 beating his previous best of 20.24 set in March this year.

Michael Miller made a rare trip away from Hove Park to tackle Worthing and, very nicely played, came away with his new PB time of 21.19 beating his previous best of 21.51 which he set only last month. Obviously this fast course suits him so perhaps another one for next month Michael?

A couple of other results of note from other parkruns. A big well done to Mark O’Gara who claimed a new PB down at the Hove prom parkrun. His new time of 19.09 beat his previous best of 19.11 set almost one year ago bar one week. This could be an annual event for Mr O’Gara me thinks.

Over at Brighton & Hove parkrun Arena claimed first places in both the men’s and women’s sections. Jon Bowditch was our man who took the glory crown for Arena in a time of 18.03 and only 2 seconds off his PB time. Katherine O’Hara was our first lady and 10th overall as she came home in a time of 19.24. Since returning back from injury Katherine has made great progress and put in some fine performances.


Congratulations to all of the above athletes on some top performances today and as always well done to all of our athletes who got out there today to fly the Arena flag.

An improvement to the men’s club records at the Bevendean Down parkrun

There has been an improvement to the men’s club records at the Bevendean Down parkrun on Saturday 10 June.

A first timer to this course, Henry Miller took the trip out there with Teo Van Well to see what the course has to offer compared to the others around town. Maybe he is sizing up the course for the next Super Series race which looks like it will be held here on Sat 1st July due to Hove Prom being cancelled (please add this to your diary’s).

Henry always tries to deliver and today was no exception as he romped home in first place in a time of 19.30 which puts him into 3rd place in the men’s Bevendean parkrun records. Congratulations Henry Miller!

The new records now look like this:
Bevendean Down parkrun Men
1 Timmy Gedin 2016 18m 06s
2 Al Silvester 2016 18m 46s
Henry Miller 2017 19m 30s
4 Jim Watson 2016 19m 45s
5 Sam Bennett 2017 19m 57s

We also well done to Caroline Wood who was 1st female here today in a time of 22.31.

Elsewhere there were several other PB’s from our athletes as well. Over at Preston Park parkrun, David Gifford was a fine 5th place in a new PB time of 18.26 beating his previous best of 18.43. Also well done to Jackie Rymell for 2nd lady home.

At the Hove Prom parkrun Jim Watson was 13th in a new PB time of 19.07 beating his previous best of 19.11 set last year.

Mark Wavell made the trip over to Worthing and was rewarded with a new PB time of 20.31 beating his previous time of 21.41 set last year.

Well done to al those that PB’d today and to all of our athletes who went out to run in the sun.

You can find all the club records here:


WSFRL Hove Park fun run 2017 – Sunday June 11th – Results

A big thank you to all the clubs that took part in today’s WSFRL race at Hove park. It was lovely to see so many clubs rock up to the park and help to make it such a big social event. The support from other clubs for all runners was outstanding.

We hoped you enjoyed the day as much as we did and we hope to see you all back for 2018.

For this year’s results click here.

From all of us here at Arena 80 ac thank you.


How not to run a 100 mile relay race! by Teo van Well

What an honour it was to be selected by my club for the South Downs Way (SDW) 100 mile relay team. I was given the nod during cross-country season when I was eating hills for fun and skidding around in the mud. Training was going well, my body was strong and results were consistently positive. Why wouldn’t I make the team? Well…………

The 3rd June had been burning a hole in my diary for some time. I could not wait for this day to arrive and to finally experience, alongside my friends and club-mates, an epic endurance race day. But it was never going to be as simple as that was it? Struck down with a virus in February that lasted nigh on a month set me back a long way. My physically demanding job coupled with a return to training sooner than was wise were likely catalysts in multiple re-occurrences and a sustained period out. When I did finally get back into my trainers I was dismayed to find just how much endurance, and particularly speed, I had lost. I felt like I had to learn to run again. But I was on the team and even though it was the beginning of May now, I still wanted to get on that bus with five other team-mates. It had crossed my mind many times that I should forfeit my place to someone in better form than me but as it played out our original team (along with the A team) had to be reshuffled due to other injuries. This meant that, even after a mass recruitment drive, I was still likely able to make the cut despite being seriously off-form and lacking in mileage.

I decided to skip some club training sessions and just get out and practice my legs at every opportunity now that it seemed almost certain I had to run. I allowed myself to get excited and to feel like it was ok to be on the team despite my current form as the most important thing was getting a strong team out there to compete.

And so to the day itself: an early start, lots of excitement and adrenaline amongst us and the first leg of the day – getting from Withdean to Eastbourne for the start of the race. I was feeling good, I had practiced my legs at 75% effort which had me completing leg 3 in 30 minutes, leg 8 in 45.5 minutes and leg 15 in 29 minutes. Even though I was not flat out on my practice runs to get these times I figured they would be decent targets on the day as I would have to budget my energy across the whole day and not just one leg.

What I didn’t take into consideration was what I had done the night before! As a former sports player living in dusty, humid Myanmar where daily temperatures came in at 35 degrees Celsius, I had gotten into the habit of drinking oral rehydration salts regularly to replenish the fluids and electrolytes I lost through sweating. But I had none of this magic powder at hand so I proceeded to load my bottles of water with salt and sugar, as a worthy substitute. What a mistake! Despite the sea water taste I received I still just rolled with it thinking it would help me through this very hot, humid race day. But all it did was to give me an unquenchable thirst that meant I consumed four litres of water before my second leg! I was starting to feel very faint and almost delirious as my stomach sloshed around in the mini-bus as we went from stage to stage at good speed. Given the fact that I have an MSc in Health also, so a decent foundation of knowledge around this area, I cannot believe I did not finely research the correct quantities of salt and sugar to add to my water. I’m not even sure there is hard evidence of it helping but I got it into my head that it was worth a try, especially given my prior experience in the heat when playing football.

My first leg was the only one I ran without being ill and ran conservatively to complete it in 30.07. I had hoped for a bit quicker but it was bloody windy and I had held a lot back as planned. Then the drinking began as I tried to replenish myself and get prepared for a gruelling leg 8 in the midday sun. I felt pretty nauseous within an hour of finishing my first leg but I attempted to shield my teammates from this so that they did not unnecessarily worry. After all, they had their own races to worry about.  I continued to drink, tried to focus on the task ahead but was beginning to worry about how I was feeling. Leg 8 was my favourite though as it is practically all uphill and requires a lot of strength instead of speed. I told myself that once I was out there on the run I’d be fine. And so I set off hoping I would make my mark on this race and further leave our nearest rivals behind. As I started the initial climb I knew something wasn’t right as I just had no engine. I set my cadence and although painful, held it for the entire leg assuming it was around 45 minute pace for completion. I chose not to wear a Garmin though as I wanted to run on feel. Other than being held up by an ambulance on the way – costing about 20 seconds or so – the leg went smoothly despite feeling very weak and dizzy. My cap wouldn’t remain on due to the wind and so I ran with it in hand, but I came down the hill to the finish with purpose. When I looked at my watch after handing Del the baton I couldn’t believe it: 48.5 minutes. I could have walked faster! I was so disappointed and could see from the expression of my team that they were too. They clearly thought the ambulance was for me seeing that I was due back 3 – 4 minutes sooner.

As I got into the van to continue to the next leg I began to feel delirious and everything was spinning. Timmy Gedin was catching a lift with us from the A team and I tried to make conversation with him to keep my focus. But I couldn’t think straight or get my words out. I still have no idea what I was saying (sorry Timmy). I just wanted to vomit – large quantities of salty water. I must add that I was still drinking like crazy (although the salt water was long finished by now) and took on another three litres before my final leg. I had no idea how I was going to get through it and by now my team-mates were well aware I was ill. I could no longer pretend as I was acting strange and irrationally. But they tried to support me whilst still focusing on their own individual challenges. I personally believed I wouldn’t be able to run another leg but was not about to share this. I just prepared as I would normally and took to the start line.

The first km was painful and I wanted to collapse but Butser Hill was upon me and if I was going to finish I had to get up it. I then did something I’ve never done before: I walked some of the hill as recommended by Steve McNealy so as to save some energy. It deeply hurt my pride and I hope never to repeat this but realistically, given my condition, it was sound advice. Once off the hill, although I could no longer feel or control my legs, I gave it my all to get to the end of leg 15 and to pass on to Jim Risdale. My time of 32.15 felt like a stab in the chest but upon reflection it was respectable given the way I was feeling. I had euphoric feelings that I had completed my task despite being so sick but those feelings were quickly overshadowed by huge disappointment at my performances. The first thing I thought of was that I couldn’t wait to do it all again, and this time so much better. Even out of form I am a much better runner than that. I ruined my own day with an awful decision to put salt and sugar in my water in vague quantities, and I nearly ruined my team’s day by not completing my legs.

We came home with the prize and I was a part of that effort but I sit here now wondering how much more fun I could have had without sickness and with some respect for my leg times. I am very grateful that my team-mates fulfilled their own abilities which allowed us still to win despite my off-day. It is an experience I will always remember but one I will never repeat. Now what I need to do is get myself in a position to be selected for the 2018 team and to put my SDW relay experience to good use. It is an epic day and race that is very suited to my abilities. But why o’ why did I have to make myself sick?! Three races a day in hot, windy conditions can do that to you already without a helping hand.

Thank you to Steve McNealy, Peter Knee, Kevin Meegan, Jim Watson, Del Wallace and our captain, Jim Risdale for pulling me through. Sorry I put you all through that.