Category Archives: QandAs

Get to know club members

Get to know…Julie Drake

Brutal 10, Women’s only

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the lady who recently popped up in the club history series. This dog loving athlete has represented GB many times and took part in the Tokyo Olympics so this girl has pedigree and class. A lover of everything outdoors and the main instigator of the Arena annual camping trips, you will often find Julie running over the hills with her dog, Amber. Lets find out a little more about Julie Drake.

Name: Julie Drake

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined Arena in 1999. I was a member of Brighton & Hove AC at the time with two toddlers but due to work/childcare issues could no longer make Tuesday/Thursday night club training night’s so I starting attending Arena Monday and Wednesday night sessions.

2. How long have you been running:
Far too long … 36 years . I started in 1981 when I was 12 years old. I’m still running in 2017, but rather a lot slower.

3. Where did you grow up:
I’m a local girl. Born in Westdene and lived all my life in Brighton.

4. What was the best thing about growing up as a kid:
Being out and about playing with friends all the time. In my day as a kid we only had a couple of hours of kids tv a day and no computer games so my time was spend doing interesting things.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Taking Amber my dog out for walks and canicross runs, lots of wild camping in my motor home, cooking and playing golf. I also enjoy partaking in wine and beer tasting.

6. What’s the one song that gets you up out of your seat:
Pharrell Williams – Happy.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
The St Albans Stampede (12 hr Enduro relay over 3.8 mile lap). My boyfriend and I ran it last year and surprisingly came 2nd. He ran 39 miles and I ran 36 miles. We are heading back there in September to try and do better.

8. Have you any bugbears:
Obsessively checking how much battery power I have left in my motor home. I’ve now had a solar panel fitted so my obsession is easing.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Steve Ovett. My primary school teacher was a member of Phoenix AC and brought his Moscow Olympic gold medal into the class to show us in 1980.

10. What would your epitaph say:
She never stopped running until the end.

11. What’s the best thing about living in Brighton:
Living so close to the South Downs and Stanmer Park. I’ve always trained off-road so Brighton is a perfect place to live for me.

12. What are you most looking forward to in 2017
: Of course it’s the Arena 80 camping trip. 18th-22nd August at Hollands Wood Campsite, Brockenhurst. Lots of running, cycling, socialising, eating and drinking.

13. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
Australia.

14. What was the first song you ever purchased (be truthful):
Message in a Bottle by The Police.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I’m a life member of Brighton & Hove City AC which I gained from representing GB at the World Championships in Toyko in 1991. My event then was 10000m walk but I was also quite a good runner in my day and won the Brighton Half Marathon.

16. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you choose to be:
Parked up somewhere scenic in my motor home eating home cooked food and drinking nice cold cava.

17. What has been your biggest achievement in your life so far:
Breaking 3 hours for my first road marathon. This was London 1992 and I ran 2hr 58:22. I got back into training as a new years resolution and did 3 months of serious training of 50-60 miles a week for it. Before this I’d lost interest in training and had a few months off which involved lots of partying and being normal.

18. Who would you choose to be marooned on a desert island with:
My boyfriend Richard. He’s not an Arena runner but he is a fellow bus driver and I found out that he was a running a few years ago at the South Downs Relay. He’s a hasher.

19. Is there anything that you are scared of:
Running with Amber in Stanmer Park woods on my own in the dark. We have recently started running in the dark on Hollingbury Golf Course which I can handle as we stay on the farways, which are open, as much as possible.

20. If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive who would you choose:
Chris ‘Moyleman’ Moyle my running friend who died from cancer in 2009. In November I’m planning on running my 250th Parkrun on Chris’ 50th birthday weekend. Ashley Head (Chris’ good mate and the Moyleman race founder) and Cam Moyle (Chris’ sister and also a fellow running friend and ex school mate). It would be a very special occasion to all be reunited for one dinner.

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

 

Get to know…Jo Marshall / Ricky Coleman

Love on a mountain top.

For this weeks chosen club member we are have two for the price of one today. Surely one of the nicest couple’s I have ever met. It’s rare to find two people so suited at such a young age. They have a love of animals (some would say a house like Noah’s Ark) a love for adventure and a love for each other. Watching these two grow with their running since they joined Arena has been a pleasure to watch and there times prove that they are doing something right in their training sessions. Jo is a keen photographer and Ricky is just keen for everything. They are a pleasure to hang out with and two very gentle souls. Let’s find out what rocks their world.

Name: Jo Marshall and Ricky Coleman

1. When and why did you join Arena:
Jo & Ricky: September 2016, to up our game!

2. How long have you been running:
Jo: My first 10k was in 2013 but I didn’t run for a year after that because I was too traumatised.
Ricky:  My first Half Marathon was in 2009 (Hastings) but I’d say I’ve been running properly since 2015

3. Where did you grow up:
Jo: Kenilworth, a small town in the Midlands
Ricky:  Down the coast in Hastings

4. What do the last five words of the last text sent to you say:
Jo: ‘Can you get a pineapple? ‘ From Ricky for his signature pizza
Ricky: just having tea

5. What types of holidays do you prefer:
Jo: Active ones, preferably with a mountain or two in sight
Ricky: Road trips, hoping from hostel to hostel

6. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Jo: Anything outdoors – hiking, camping, skiing, climbing, etc. I also really enjoy DIY!
Ricky: Definitely not watching Love Island. Er I love reading and I follow lots of different sports

7. What would your epitaph say:
Jo: eco-warrior
Ricky:  could argue with his own shadow

8. Tell us about something you would happily do again:
Jo: Do a road trip in the Canadian Rockies
Ricky: Go white water kayaking in the Alps, living off fresh bread and cheese for weeks

9. What makes you bored:
Jo: Politics
Ricky: When the football season ends

10. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up:
Jo: Sugar
Ricky: Peanut butter

11. What were you like a school:
Jo: An average Joe. Always came last at sports day.
Ricky: Bit of a joker with a short attention span

12. What is your one weakness:
Jo:  Funny cat videos
Ricky: I have to have the last word

13. Who was you first celebrity crush pop star and film star:
Jo: Zac Efron
Ricky: Tom Hardy

14. What are the three most used apps on your phone: 
Jo: BBC news, Strava, Facebook
Ricky: Facebook, Whatsapp and the Guardian

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you
Jo: I used to ring church bells. I only gave up so I could run more.
Ricky: I was once arrested and detained in Singapore for a short time when travelling

16. Who is your sporting hero:
Jo: Ricky – he is good at everything!
Ricky:  Bradley Wiggins, he just oozes class and has achieved lots across so many different bike racing disciplines (sorry Jo!)

17. What one thing do you like to do the most:
Jo: Make a good spreadsheet
Ricky: Win a sprint finish at parkrun (although it’s definitely not a race)

18. What’s the best thing about living in Brighton:
Jo: The south downs on our doorstep!
Ricky: Being smug about it to anyone that doesn’t live here…

19. What was the best thing about 2016 for you:
Jo: Buying a flat so we could get our guinea pigs!
Ricky: Qualifying as a solicitor

20. What are you most looking forward to in 2017:
Jo: My holidays – Croatia and India
Ricky: Seeing Royal Blood at the Brighton Centre

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

Get to know…Julie Briggs

Julie Briggs in full flow.

Julie initially started running with Brighton & Hove AC at the age of 11. Julie moved to Crawley and then started running for Crawley AC and then eventually running as a Vet with Arena and what a big gain for us. Julie still lives & trains in Crawley so she only gets to see the Arena athletes at races. Julie works in a local Primary school in Reception & enjoys going on family rides & runs with Gary & Tom. Julie has been a fine ambassador for Arena and is very well respected amongst her peers. Julie features in several of the women’s club records at 5k – 17.31 (2008), 10k – 35.57 (2011), marathon – 2.52.45 (2005) so you can see that Julie has certainly earnt her stripes with Arena. So lets find out what makes Julie tick.

Name: Julie Briggs

1.When and why did you join Arena:
In 2004 as my club at the time (Crawley) didn’t have a Vets team

2. How long have you been running:
37 years!

3  Where did you grow up:
Born in Brighton, moved to Crawley age 11.

4. What would be your dream race:
Finishing the London Marathon strongly instead of dying on my feet!

5. Why do you continue to run after so many years:
I still enjoy it!

6. Who is your sporting hero:
Paula Radcliffe.

7. Define a moment in your life:
The elation of giving birth to my son

8. Have you anything on your bucket list:
To ride a mountain stage of The Tour De France.
To have a go at Cyclo cross.

9. What do you think about the most about during the day:
Food!

10. Who in your life has influenced you the most:
My coach, My other half Gary.

11. What were you like a school:
Sporty!

12. What do you think has been your life’s major achievement:
Giving birth.

13. What’s your favourite brand of sportswear:
Not fussed as long as it’s comfortable!

14. What’s your favourite music / song / band:
Ed Sheerans new CD is being played a lot recently.

15. Apart from running, what else do you do with your free time:
Cycle, read, drink coffee.

16. What types of books do you like to read:
Crime thrillers.

17. What’s something you miss the most from childhood:
Not aching after a session.

18. What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up:
Not being able to be active.

19. What in your opinion was your best ever race:
London Marathon 2005.

20. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I used to be a gymnast & play football for a team before taking up running.

Our biggest thanks to Julie for her Q&A’s today and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know Julie a little better. That completes our famous 5 blast from the past’s and we would like to thank all of them for giving the club so much over so many years and staying loyal to Arena. They’ve helped shaped Arena to what we see today and we are truly thankful to have had you along for the ride. Happy running guys.

Get to know…Tracey Owen

 

For today’s chosen old school club member we’re joined by one Tracey Owen. Tracey is another one of those members that just can't get Arena out of her blood and has been with Arena for some 27 years. As you will have already read  in the club's history, Tracey was one of the famous 5 that represented England in the team 15k in Italy along with her other Arena team mates, Tracey was an Accountant, and retrained as a Sport's Therapist because of her passion for running! Arena 80 has been the one and only club she has ever belonged to, so she's pretty loyal to those that know her! Early mornings have always been easy for her, so Photography and sunrises are now her #motivation to run……..Tracey is looking at clocking up 100,000 miles by the time she's 55…..and i can happily report that she is still on target! (admin says: wow good luck with that one Tracey and let us know how you get on). So let’s find out a little more about Tracey.

1. When and why did you join Arena:
Approx 27 years ago…yikes! Good question,  and I remember it clearly :-).  I was first woman home in the Lewes10, and Ron Grover came over to me and started to chat. He mentioned that I was an 'unattached' runner and in certain races I would not be an official winner if it was affiliated to the AAA's, therefore as a reasonable newby it would be sensible to join a club like Arena 80 because they also had a strong women's team, therefore I could do well individually and as a team…..the rest is history, one club only;-)!

In truth,  I was so nieve,  and thought I had to belong to a club to be placed:-D! Chris Naylor was there at the time and also sold me the virtues of Arena 80:-). A long story but true:-).

2. How long have you been running:
33 years ish doing races, although 52 years ever since I found my legs!

3. Where did you grow up:
Ive never really grown up, that's why I run! However, Eastbourne was the place where I played.

4. What’s the first thing you notice about somebody: 
Their eyes….then their footwear!

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Photography of all the beautiful things we see when we run……..currently also a volunteer at an old Victorian Theatre (The Hippodrome) to help it keep 'running'.

6. What’s the one song that gets you up out of your chair: 
'Unexpected lover' by Lime.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Cycle 'Lands end to John O groats' (Le Jog).

8. What are the three most used apps on your phone:
Weather, FB, Twitter.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Juliette Clarke………although, more well known is Emil Zatopek (or maybe not to the younger runners!).

10. What would be your perfect evening out:
Good food with a couple of very good friends.

11. What’s was your best ever race:
Just done it….South Downs Way 50 miler! I've never run that far in my life!

12. What makes you bored:
I don't know the meaning of the word, its not in my vocabulary.

13. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
I love the UK, and still have so much to see here.

14. What were you like a school:
Mischief!

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I used to DJ in a Brighton club, and an Eastbourne Pub when I was 21!

16. What’s the one thing you are looking forward to in 2017:
The South Downs Way 50 mile….just completed, and very happy!

17. What has been your biggest achievement in your life so far: 
I'm still here? Joking apart…… the great friends I have made, and still spend time with.

18. What gives you a high:
Running on the South Downs for hours and hours….and the first use of the head torch doing the same as winter arrives!

19. Who was you first celebrity crush:
Kate Bush!

20. What advice would you give to your younger self: 
None….I've loved the learning all the way through…..and long may it continue….

Our biggest thanks to Tracey for her Q&A’s today and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know Tracey a little better. Check back tomorrow as we bring you another old school club member with another set of Q&A’s.

Get to know…Mike Naylor

Mike with Mara Yamauchi who currently holds the second fastest time by a British woman over the marathon behind Paula Radcliffe.

For today’s chosen old school club member we’re joined by Mike Naylor, husband to Chris and father to Tom. Mike is the man that for soooo many years collated all of the Arena club records until the club just got to big for one man to do this. Mike has been a bit of a historian when it comes to Arena and admin can honestly say that Mike has been a major player in getting the history of the club together and for that we thank him whole heartedly. Mike is an excellent coach and has helped, for many years, to coach the kids at Phoenix and a top job he has done for them as well. So lets find out a little more about Mike.

Name: Mike Naylor

1. What was your first road race?
The Brighton 6 Miler, starting and finishing at Withdean stadium. My longest training run was 4 miles around the Level, I avoided hills. B6M was probably the toughest race at that distance, two climbs, including running up to the Windmill on Mill Road. My first words to my wife Chris on completion were ‘Never again’ I found out later it was hosted by Arena 80.

2. How long have you been running and why Arena 80?
Seriously running, probably since 1986, so 31 years. In the mid-eighties, Ron Grover A80’s founder, had a furniture shop in Shoreham that sold running shoes! Chris and I went in to buy shoes and the conversation turned to running clubs, my wife Chris joined, I joined a little later.

3. Where did you grow up?
Bolton, Lancashire.

4. What is the most standout moment in A80?
Standout moment for A80 happens every year when club members come out in force to help put on the Brighton Marathon Weekend.

5. What were the early days of A80 like?
Back in the 80’s & 90’s before the running boom there were far fewer races. Because there were so few races the cross country league was essential, even if you were not particularly good at it (that’s me) because it made you work really hard and you would arrive in the track and road season all the more fitter and stronger.

Because there were so few races, the ones you did became very important and I would train and taper for each one to get the best possible result.

Also because Arena was a small club, it was quite easy to communicate and get teams together for things like Cross Country and Relays.

6. How do you see Arena as it is today?
Well the club as certainly grown! I think it as a gained a lot of respect on many levels. Initially A80 was not treated seriously by other clubs in Sussex, then of course the great female A80 runners came along and for many years A80 women were untouchable. The women won the South Downs Way Relay from 1994 to 2006 inclusively (Chris has 10 medals). Over the last 10 years or so the men’s Captaincy as put the guys on the map in Sussex really for the first time since the early 90’s when we won the Todays Runner Sussex Cross Country League (now Sunday Sussex League) and went to the National final.

7. If you could go back to one running moment in your life what would it be?
Probably Brands Hatch 10K 1988 when I was desperate to break 40 minutes for 10K and broke 39 by mistake, a close tie with Newick 10K 1992 when I was in the best shape and ran 37:58 which would put me in the top 10 these days.

8. Who is your sporting hero?
Steve Ovett.

9. What was the greatest sporting memory for you?
Hiding in the kitchen in 1966 when England had to play extra time in the WC final. I was too scared to watch. I went back to the living room at 3 – 2 in time to see Geoff Hurst’s ‘they think it’s all over’ goal.

10. What was your greatest sporting achievement?
I have a handful of County Masters Championship medals over 800, 1500 and 5K but I suppose running 36:51 for 10K at the age of 41.

11. What makes you happy?
Too many things to mention, running wise now – being injury free.

12. Have you ever met anyone famous?
Name dropping galore; Sally Gunnell,Mark Rowland, Matt Yates, Tim Hutching, Daley Thompson, Steve Ovett, Steve Cram,  Richard Nerurkar,  Dean Macy, Mara Yamauchi, Ron Hill, Brendon Foster, Charlie Grice  and Jo Pavey, all thanks to my son Tom. Oh and Leonard Cohen.

13. How is the running scene today compared with when you started out?
More races, plus Parkruns. It’s less competitive at the sharp end because the field is spread. Better organised events, chip timing, polyart running numbers, first aid! And a tremendous increase in numbers of women running and running fast times.

14. Tell us something we might not know about you?
I was the Chairman of Phoenix Athletic Club in the 90’s and early noughties.

15. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time?
Too many things to mention and I got a metal detector for Christmas.

16. Who in your opinion is the greatest ever athlete?
Steve Ovett for men, at the moment Paula for the women’s vote. Ask me again in the near future and I’m hoping it will be Laura Muir.

17. Did you ever run the London Marathon?
Once 1999; I am not and never have been a marathon runner and probably said ‘Never again’ to Chris at the end.

18. What advice would you give to a runner just starting out?
Learn to listen to your body and adjust your training and racing accordingly; running schedules or training plans don’t know how you feel and neither do coaches. Find out which distance you achieve your best results. Fight the compulsion to run every event in the calendar and a Parkrun every week. Train clever – race hard – get the best out of your efforts.

19. What do you think of the running scene now?
Locally booming and blooming, Brighton Marathon changed everything. It’s wonderful to see so many women out in the streets and on the downs training.

Worldwide running is still plagued with drugs cheats and will always will be until the sports rids itself of the drugs supplier, pharmacists, doctors and the people who encourage cheats. At the moment it’s too deeply embedded in the sport. Tim assures me Seb will sort it out!

20. Who has been the greatest Ambassador for A80?
Bob Page for all his work for Sussex Athletics as coach, official and event organiser.

Our biggest thanks to Mike for his Q&A’s today and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know Mike a little better. Check back tomorrow as we bring you another old school club member with another set of Q&A’s.

Get to know…Sarah Silberston

 

For today’s chosen old school club member we’re joined by one of the long standing members Sarah Silberston. Previously a regular Monday/Wednesday night attendee, however life/work/family have all got in the way of regular sessions and she’s now more of an ‘as and when’ runner’. Sarah has recently been managing to get to the Monday night sessions at Withdean along with her son Jack who is the club’s youngest member who has a lot of potential. So let’s find out a little more about Sarah.

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined around 1989 (yes, almost thirty years ago!). I’d belonged to a club in London that only had two longer distance women runners, so when I moved to Brighton I looked for a club that had a strong and supportive women’s team.

2. How long have you been running?
Over thirty years.  I used to run 5-6 times a week and race every weekend, now I’m lucky if its 5-6 times a month.

3. Where did you grow up:
Kensal Rise in NW London. 

4. Other than running, what else do you do for exercise: 
Are you kidding, I can just about cope with running!

5. What is a good night out for you:
A good night in is what I aim for – watching a Scandi drama with my man and a wee dram.

6. Tell us about something that you are proud to have achieved:
My 3:13 marathon PB in London 1993.  It was my first marathon, I was on a real high for weeks after, and at the time I though I could only get quicker.  Unfortunately all my marathons got progressively slower, but no-one can take that 3:13 away from me. Oh, and having my kids.

7. If you could only have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be:
Pasta with courgettes and pesto sauce.

8. What are the 3 most used apps on your phone: 
Not really an app person, but probably endomondo, a parking app, and facebook

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Can I have two?  Firstly, Glenn Hoddle (COYS).  Secondly, Steve Ovett.  My dad took me to see him run around 1989 in a Fire Services athletics meeting.  Not only did he win, but he gave his prize to the person that came last in the blind runners race.  When I first moved to Brighton, it was a buzz to know that I was training at the track he’d trained at.  I always preferred him to that other bloke.

10. Have you ever done anything that scared the living crap out of you: 
Last year I went with a friend and our kids to an adventure centre. We chose the low ropes course, but as we started we saw that the ropes were anything but low, and my friend bailed.  I had to keep going as the kids need an adult with them.  Then my daughter started to panic just after we’d started, but conveniently far enough along so that we couldn’t turn back.  I spent the rest of the course encouraging her to keep going, whilst quietly panicking myself.  When we eventually got to the end, my fingers were streaming with blood from gripping the ropes so tightly.

11. Have you ever had or do you have a nickname:
 Several which I don’t wish to share!

12. What makes you happy:
That’s easy – my kids and my man.

13. What is your all-time favourite film:
Midnight Run.  Robert De Niro’s first (and most successful) foray into comedy, a brilliant double act with Charles Grodin – check it out.

14. What does running mean to you:
Its part of my identity, makes me feel alive.

15. What’s something we don’t know about you:
I was a child model/actress!

16. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Definitely not run a marathon!.  As they are no longer around, have a hug from my mum and dad.

17. What would your epitaph say:
Was still running at 100 years of age!

18. Have you got something that you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of:  
Two stone in weight.

19. What is your one weakness:  
Food

20. What were you like at school:
Swotty and sporty.

Our biggest thanks to Sarah for her Q&A’s today and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know Sarah a little better. Check back tomorrow as we bring you another old school club member with another set of Q&A’s.

Get to know…Roger Ockenden

Todays ‘Get to know’ from our old school members series comes from the man who is probably one of the most consistent points scorers for Arena 80 than other member in the WSFRL. You can’t miss this man as he is so distinctive for Arena with a permanent tan it seems, the tanned bald head, the glasses and his towering figure, well there can only be one Roger Ockenden. Roger has been with Arena for as long as anyone can remember. Roger is keen on cricket as well being a very keen and good photographer who kindly supplied admin with some of the photos that have been used in the history of the club. The photo above is Roger with David Cameron who asked if he could join Roger when he was on the train. they spoke a lot about running apparently.

Name: Roger Ockenden

1. When and why did you join Arena 80:
1981.   Ron Grover, the club founder, had a carpentry shop in Boundary Road, Hove very close to where I lived. From the shop he also sold athletic gear under the name of “South Coast Runner”. To promote this side of the business Ron organised a race from his shop to Hove Town Hall. After I ran this race Ron persuaded me to join his newly formed running club. Ron had previously been very involved with Brighton & Hove Athletic Club & for the next few years there was a poor relationship between the two clubs.

2. How long have you been running:
37 years. During that time I have run over 2800 races in the Arena 80 colours. Until the last 3 years I had been very lucky with injuries & illness.

3. Where did you grow up:
Hove

4. What was it like running around Brighton in the earlier days: 
More enjoyable than today! In the 80’s there were a lot less cars, so crossing the Old Shoreham Road or the seafront area was not as dangerous as it is today.

5. Where is your favourite place to eat:
My three favourite restaurants in the Brighton area:
1 Thatched Inn at Keymer
2 Coggins, Dyke Road, Brighton
3 Old Tollgate, Bramber

6. What were the early days of Arena 80 like:
There were not as many members as there are today, but the standard throughout was very high. Two years in a row in the 80’s, both the men’s & women’s senior/vets teams were Sussex Grand Prix Champions.

7. How do you see Arena 80 as it is today:
Like most clubs, Arena 80 now has a very large membership. The club is also blessed to have so many people prepared to spend their spare time working for & promoting the club.

8. If you could go back to one moment in your life, what would it be: 
When I was 16 I played every sport going, at a reasonable standard – cricket, football, ten-pin-bowling, free-style wrestling, tennis etc. My true love was cricket, & I had the talent to be successful at the game. Unfortunately I wasted the opportunity I had at the time, & I now regret having let so many people down.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Ian Botham

10 What is the greatest ever sporting moment in history: 
A boxing event – even though I hate boxing! In 1974 George Foreman fought Muhammad Ali in Zaire. It was billed as “The Rumble in the Jungle”

11. What was your greatest ever running achievement:
My PB for 5k is 17 mins 1sec. I achieved this at one of our Hove Park races. The reason why this is so special for me is that I’d had no sleep the night before the race, as I had spent all Saturday – day & night – helping our club runners doing the South Downs 80. I drove back from Eastbourne to Hove on Sunday morning, straight to the race!

12. What makes you happy:  
A warm sunny day.

13. Where is your favourite place to run:
I have 4…..

  • In 4th place – Glendalough, Southern Ireland. I have run round this beautiful place at least 10 times
  • In 3rd place – sandy beaches on the Gold Coast, Barbados
  • In 2nd place – the South West coast path from Looe to Polperro. I must have done this over 100 times, but these days the whole area is suffering from severe erosion.
  • In 1st place – my absolute favourite is Dubai. I have been to this amazing place 9 times, & every evening at sunset I will run round a parade ground for about 20 minutes. The temperature even at that time of day is over 90°. There are always many informal cricket matches taking place at the parade ground, mostly involving the local Asian workforce. At dusk the “call for prayers” is heard from the many tannoys & the cricket matches come to an abrupt halt! The cricketers disappear to one of the many nearby Mosques. By this time all the amazing skyscrapers – including the Burj Khalifa – are illuminated. A truly amazing sight.

14. How is the running scene today, compared to when you started out:
Today as many women run as men. Certainly in the 80’s & 90’s only a handful of women raced, but they were of a very high standard.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I have always enjoyed a challenge in life.

  • I was one of the first people to join the “92 Club” – seeing a league match on all of the 92 Football League Grounds. On 77 of the grounds (out of the 92) I watched the Seagulls.
  • I have also watched cricket on over 100 different County grounds.
  • Two of my slightly “odder” achievements in the 80’s-90’s was visiting every pier, & bowling at every ten-pin-bowling alley in England! I won’t tell you what my wife thought!!
  • I have been lucky enough to have walked the whole length of many of the long distance pathways in England. The South Downs Way is still my favourite.
  • At the moment I am about 300 miles short of travelling on every British Rail line.

Well, you did ask!!

16. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Eating out, walking, going to the beach, cricket, travelling, and photography.

17. Who in your opinion is the greatest ever athlete: 
Usain Bolt

18. Did you ever run the London marathon:  
Yes! Just the once in 1986, my time was 3 hours 37 mins. I ran over 30 marathons & did not run a “good” time. I always hit the dreaded wall at 20 miles.

19. What advice would you give anyone just starting out running:
When you first start running, whatever the cost, make sure your running shoes are the right ones for you & that you clothes are comfortable to run in. Expect to take some time before you reach your peak, then you can go for your PBs over the next few years

20. What do you miss from your early running days:
Sensible entry fees! The cost of races was never over £5, & the West Sussex Fun League was only £1.

Our biggest thanks to Roger for his Q&A’s today and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know Roger a little better. Check back tomorrow as we bring you another old school club member with another set of Q&A’s. 

Get to know…Jo Peckham

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the lovely and gentle Jo Peckham. A girl with a lovely smile and although she may seem placid there is a very adventurous side to Jo. It’s been wonderful to watch Jo’s progression with her time at Arena and she has a very unique style to her running but it’s also very effective. Jo is lovely company to hang with and a pleasure to have on board. So lets find out a little about what floats Jo’s boat.

Name: Jo Peckham

1. When and why did you join Arena:
Last Autumn – to keep me on the straight and narrow!

2. How long have you been running:
About a year and a half.

3. Where did you grow up:
Italy. 

4. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning: 
Who’s making tea!? Then….it’s sunny! Let’s get outside!

5. What do you do for fun:
Eat, drink and travel – I love an adventure! Especially if it involves a bit of wild swimming.

6. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be:
Anything Italian – pizza, pasta, ice cream.

7. Who is your sporting hero:
my dad – he’s an intrepid explorer and recently back from tracking through the off-grid depths of Nepal at the age of 70!

8. What makes you happy: 
Being by a beach, climbing a mountain, reading a good book, the wilderness in Scotland.

9. What was the last film you watched:
Mustang – a fab film about girls fighting against the patriarchy in Turkey.

10. What type of music do you like most:
current to tunes on Spotify include Grimes, Lorde, Little Dragon Young Fathers – also enjoy a bit of old school soul and 90s R&B!

11. What’s something we don’t know about you:
I almost didn’t get to go on my honeymoon as I typed in the wrong name when booking flights!

12. What would be your perfect evening be:
Something spontaneous – leading to more spontaneity!

13. What was the first song you ever purchased:
Probably a Nirvana album.

14. What was the last thing you bought:
A Topic chocolate bar.

15. What’s the best thing about living in Brighton:
The weather! After enduring the drizzle in Glasgow.

Our biggest thanks to Jo for her Q&A’s this week and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know Jo  a little better.

Next week is a week long special as part of our history of the club week. We will have a Q&A from 5 of our long standing members so make sure you check in on Monday for the first of these.