Category Archives: QandAs

Get to know club members

Get to know…Shawn Buck

For this week’s chosen club member we are joined by a true gentleman of Arena 80, Shawn Buck. Shawn has been with the club for a few years and is always one of the first members to offer his services to the club when we call upon help. Shawn has now stepped up to take on the club role as a WSFRL rep alongside Fiona Jamie and Anne Miners in which he hopes to help promote these races. He is also Run Director at the Brighton & Hove parkrun so he is a man that definitely gives back to the running community. Now Mr Buck let’s hear what you have to offer us this week.

Name: Shawn Buck

1. When and why did you join Arena:  
In Autumn 2015.  I had taken up running the year before (parkrun at the age of 56) as a way of losing weight and improving my levels of fitness.  My friends from Brighton & Hove parkrun, Caroline Wood, Mark Stevenson, and Trevor & Kevin Day persuaded me that Arena was the friendliest athletics club in Brighton – and they’re not wrong!

2. How long have you been running: 
Four years.

3. Where did you grow up:
I was born in Kingston upon Thames, and went to school in Merton, near Wimbledon.    

4. What advice would you give to someone just starting out running
Never underestimate your ability and take it slowly at first. I ran my first parkrun in a time of 32:44 and was absolutely knackered afterwards.  Within a year I’d recorded a 21:57 PB (my times have slipped somewhat of late due to various injuries etc, but not as far as 32+ minutes!).

5. If money was no object what one thing would you do:
I would love to visit Antarctica – and have an old K6 telephone box installed in my garden!  (OK – I know that’s two things, but they’re not too demanding, I hope!).

6. Have you any fears or phobias:
No phobias – but I don’t like vain, bigoted, or ill-mannered people.

7. Grab the nearest book or magazine, turn to page 33, and find line 10, what do the first 10 words say:
‘Take notice, guard – he tried to murder me’, were his first words.  (Great Expectations; Charles Dickens).

8. Tell us about something you’re proud to have achieved: 
Running the Brighton Half-Marathon in under two hours, when I had to hobble the last 3k because of an injured hamstring.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Ooh! – I have a quite a few.  From athletics Mo Farah, Steve Ovett, Kelly Holmes, Jo Pavey, and Tanni Grey-Thomson.  Cycling: Laura Trott, Bradley Wiggins, and Chris Hoy.  Football:  Pele, Bobby Moore, Maradonna.

10. Looking back to your teen years, how were they:
Apart from a hiccup when my parents divorced, they were pretty happy.  Kids had a lot more freedom then, even though we were less well-off.  I’m still friends with many people from my schooldays.

11. What do you think about the most: 
My friends and family.  I worry about how mankind is trashing our planet but am heartened by how many good people there are too, trying to put things right.

12. What’s the worst pain you’ve ever had
Lower back pain about ten years ago. Fortunately; it only lasted a couple of weeks.

13. When are you at your happiest: 
When I’m out walking/running/cycling in the countryside or by the sea with my partner Agnieszka and/or in the company of good friends.  I also love long rail journeys to beautiful places (Scotland, Cornwall, Switzerland etc.) – but I’d rather not do it on an uncomfortable Thameslink train!

14. What’s something that you aren’t: 
Materialistic.

15. What’s something we don’t know about you:  
I’m a Morris dancer (but not the only one in Arena).

16. Where were you on Saturday night: 
With Agnieszka in a bar and restaurant on the promenade in Gdynia, Poland.

17. What makes you go wow: 
Spectacular scenery.  Seeing animals and birds in their natural habitat.  People who overcome adversity to achieve great things (Stephen Hawking, Martin Luther King, the Invictus Games competitors and Paralympians….).

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

19. Do you have a nickname: 
Friends call me Bucko – but my Brighton Morris mates call me ‘Shiny’.

20. What would your epitaph say: 
He always tried his best – shame about the crap jokes!

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

Get to know…Maisie Trafford

For this week’s chosen member we are joined by the very focused and hard-working Maisie Trafford. Fresh from her team Gold winning performance and 6th lady at the Chichester 10k on Sunday, Maisie has managed to squeeze in some time for this week’s Q&A’s. It was very obvious from the start of joining Arena 80 that Maisie was a very determined and focused athlete when in only her second run in an Arena top, Maisie entered the Arena women’s club records taking the 4th spot for the Preston Park parkrun with her time of 18.43. Since then Maisie has got stronger and faster and now features very much in the starting line up for Arena. There is still a lot more to come from Maisie and we look forward to seeing her progression but for now let’s meet the lady herself…Over to you Maisie.  

Name: Maisie Lilly Trafford

1. When and why did you join Arena: 
I joined arena in March 2017. I had been advised to join Arena specifically for a number of years by Fiona Jamie, who I’ve been a client and friend of since I was in school playing Hockey and Netball. I finally gave in and joined after running the Brighton Half Marathon and realising actually, 91 minutes was a half decent time for someone who didn’t train. 

2. How long have you been running:
If you class running around a hockey pitch, football pitch and netball court.. since I was in Year 4 at school. But actually training/running competitively, maybe a year and a half?

3. Where did you grow up:
Brighton, Rottingdean to be specific, although, not much time was spent there. More so in the country at Bedes Senior School, where my school days of 7am-6pm became my home.

4. Which three words best describe you
Gullible, dedicated, dopey.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
I’m at Brighton Uni training to be a PE teacher, apart from my studying, I’m often working earning the ££ so that I can spend it on all the clothes I want :D, or going shopping with my best friends and at the gym, with my other friends…

6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now
Hopefully as a head of department in a school in the UK or abroad, preferably settled down with a boyfriend in a mansion with my Chihuahuas.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again
Go to Barbados on a netball tour, it was incredible. Playing against the springy Bajan girls and then going for dinner with them on the beach. It’s one of the best life experiences I’ve gained while I was at school.  

8. You have a free day to yourself, what will you do with it
Go for a run, go to the gym, go shopping, get sushi for dinner and then watch prison break on Netflix, sorted.

9. Who is your sporting hero: 
CAROLINE HOYTE, obv. On a serious note, her passion for running and help she’s provided me as a training partner is second to none.

10. What do you hope will be a highlight for you in 2018
Getting a near to sub 36min/35min 10K time, getting a 1st on my dissertation, getting a 1st out of University and getting a job as a PE teacher for my NQT year OH, and going on a holiday in the Caribbean.

11. Have you anything on your bucket list that you want to do:
I don’t really do the whole ‘bucket list’ sort of thing, I just take each day as it comes.. if something spontaneous comes up, I’ll do it.

12. What’s the first thing you notice about people
Their sporting attributes.. weird, I know. It’s interesting to guess what sport or activities they’re involved in.

13.What was the last series that you binge watched:
Stranger things, unreal.

14. Name 3 people (dead or alive) you would like to sit in a pub with: 
I don’t really sit in pubs.. I’m more of a unique coffee shop type of girl. None the less..
Donald Trump to see how much I could annoy him, David Attenborough and Keith Lemon.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you: 
I was in the England Hockey development squad from 16-18 years old. Also, as many people get confused, my name is indeed Maisie Trafford, not Maisie Lilly.

16. What motivates you: 
Getting a PB, other individuals who are just as motivated and I’m not going to lie, probably money if that’s in the mix.

17. What are your 3 most used apps: 
Iphone Messenger, Spotify and Mail – how boring.

18. When are you at your happiest:  
On a Sunday as soon as I’ve finished a long run, on the downs, in undulated amounts of mud.. wind.. and rain, with good old Jago and Dixie.

19. If you didn’t run what other sport would you like to have done:
Gymnastics, 100%.  

20. Is there any where you want to travel to and see:
Bahamas, Australia, Asia & Thailand. If anyone wants to book the flights feel free.

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

Get to know…Max Brambani

For this week’s chosen club member we are joined by Max Brambani. Max is a quiet reserved Gent but there is a lot to him as those that have talked to him will tell you. It’s been great to see Max’s progression since he started and has recently turned in some fine performances which has shown in his parkrun times with many PB’s showing true progression. There is still more to come from him in 2018 of that I’m sure so I look forward to seeing Max become a firm Arena points taker this year. A great lad to have on board for Arena. Now over to you Max, what are you about?

Name: Max Brambani

1. When and why did you join Arena:
Just under a year ago following the Brighton half marathon. I had only recently moved to Brighton at the time and saw it as a great opportunity to both build on my running and meet some friendly faces! My boss, who’s a member of Haywards Heath Harriers, recommended the club to me.

2. How long have you been running:
Regretfully only since making the move to Brighton in the summer of 2016. Given how much I enjoy it, I wish it was something I pursued during my school and university years more!

3. Where did you grow up:
In a small Cotswold village called Willersey.

4. What was the last thing you bought:
A coffee with a blueberry and custard pastry from Gail’s… bit of a sin but in my defence I had been playing badminton before!

5. What’s one of the scariest things you’ve ever done:
Row 7 miles down the River Avon on a very makeshift raft… it was quite enjoyable until we encountered a sizable weir!

6. What were you like a school:
Hard-working and always up for a kick-about. My mums a head teacher so I knew better than to put a foot out of line!

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Go back to Iceland to see the northern lights… but next time in a hot tub with a beer

8. Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful:
A summer Brightonian sunset
An autumn walk around Tarn Hows in the Lake District
The finish line after a gruelling run.

9. Tell us about something you’ve achieved:
Degrees in Geography as well as Flood and Coastal Risk Management.

10. What’s your favourite book, magazine or comic:
Honestly, I only tend to read when I go on holiday and they’re always related to sport, quite often an autobiography. The last book that I really enjoyed was Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn – a very motivational read!

11. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I was lucky enough to present Sir AP McCoy with a bottle of champagne for his last win at Newbury before he announced his retirement.

12. What makes you happy:
Spending time with family and friends… and setting new PB’s of course!

13. What do you do to relax:
Running.

14. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try:
A marine biologist – with some exotic diving.

15. Which store or website would you choose to max out your credit card:
Sweatshop in Brighton, simply because I very rarely walk in and out without having bought something.

16. What is most important in life:
Keeping busy and happy!

17. Who in your life has influenced you the most:
Probably my mother who I’m very alike. My dad and I are different in the sense that he’s very practical, whilst I generally require a YouTube tutorial for any sort of handy work (he also probably doesn’t know what YouTube is).

18. What’s your earliest memory:
Watching a bee sting my sister when we were playing in the garden… bit of a strange one but I guess that’s why it’s stuck!

19. Name your 3 favourite foods:
Roast beef
A pink lady apple
Lemon meringue pie

20. Who is your sporting hero:
Through my much younger adolescence it would have been Dion Dublin (I’m an Aston Villa fan). Although I would probably say Andy Murray. I find both his mental and physical strength to be inspirational.

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

Get to know…Juliet fine

For this week’s chosen club member we are joined by Juliet Fine. I feel I should say that Juliet is fairly new to running but can’t decide if 3 years is fairly new or a seasoned pro at it now. Juliet came to Brighton in 2000 which is when she met her partner Andy Clark who is also an Arena member so keeping it all in the family. They have two daughters, who are fourteen and eleven. Juliet is a primary school teacher and loves her job, teaching the kids and watching them grow. For ten years Juliet was an avid gym member and did all sorts of aerobic classes. She did however see the light and has now completely switched to running. She run’s with Andy and it’s enjoys having that shared interest which gets them both out doing something together. Juliet is another of our Arena athletes who has good steady progression since joining Arena and is another good Arena example of decent coaching and working hard does pay off. Now let’s see what this lady is all about.

Name: Juliet Fine

1.    When and why did you join Arena: 
October 2016, my friend Jim Watson persuaded me it was good idea.

2.    How long have you been running:
I started to run regularly when I started doing the Park Run in January 2015.

3.    Where did you grow up:
I was born in Croydon and lived there until I was eight, then we moved to Milton Keynes.

4.   What was the last thing you ate
I have just had a delicious fish platter with smoked salmon, mackerel, prawns, crusty bread and white wine. Yum Yum!

5.    Where’s your favourite hangout place: 
I like to veg out at home mainly. But any cosy pub or equally a mellow beach bar holds plenty of appeal.

6.    What’s your biggest inspiration
I love to be outdoors. I like nature, being in the woods or going on walks or running of course.

7.    If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be: 
I am a big fan of breakfast. Ideally some fruit, perhaps a fruit salad to start, followed by proper brown bread – toasted with Marmite and a nice cup of  coffee, but I do love tea also so I would like the option to have tea and maybe scrambled eggs.

8.   What 1 thing would you take with you on a deserted island: 
Bear Grylls! If that’s too corny then a radio.

9.    Who is your sporting hero: 
I was a big Boris Becker fan when I was a teenager. More recently I really admire Kelly Holmes.

10. Which are your favourite smells: 
Coffee, a summer meadow – cut grass – not cow pats! And probably orange zest or something similar.

11. Is there anything you hope to achieve in the next 5 years: 
I’d like to give climbing a go and build up my upper body strength so I can do at least five pull-ups!

12. What makes you happy: 
Having a good laugh with my friends and family, usually with good food and wine. Otherwise being outdoors, beautiful landscapes.

13. What’s your all-time favourite film:
Blade Runner, or more recently ‘The Red Turtle’.

14. What is your motto in life: 
My university motto was ‘Fortune Favours the Brave’. I quite go along with that. Get out there and give it a try.

15. What’s something we don’t know about you: 
I am learning to play the guitar and I have been having lessons for about a year now.

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

17. Describe your childhood days: 
Easy going, a lot of freedom. Bike rides, swimming in the river, playing out with my friends.

18. Why do you run:
For fitness, to clear my mind.

19. First celebrity crush: 
Morten Harket from A-Ha.

20. Name 3 (dead or alive and non-family) people you would like to have round for dinner:
Carry Fischer,
Tove Jansson,
David Attenborough or Charles Darwin.

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

Get to know…Kevin Price

For this week’s chosen club member we are joined by a man who quietly goes about his sport and his much respected by his peers. He is someone who is no stranger to doing a marathon or two. Indeed he got a cracking PB at the Brighton Marathon last year when he clocked in at 2.56.53 in 69th place. He also did the Snowdonia Marathon Trail in July where he placed 2nd in the V45 with a time of 4.51.18, have you seen that route? So it’s clear that he doesn’t do things by halves. A really nice guy to go with all his running accolades as well so ladies and gentlemen please give a big warm welcome to Mr Kevin Price.

Name: Kevin Price

1. When and why did you join Arena:
It was around June 2015, after years training solo I’d finally hit my marathon goal and was a bit lost what to do next. I hoped joining a club would help me find new challenges and freshen up my training.

2. How long have you been running:
Since around my 30th birthday when I persuaded some mates to all sign up for a 10k.

3. Where did you grow up:
Glastonbury, Somerset.Hippy by birth.

4. What was the last thing you bought:
It’s Christmas shopping time so a new footie goal for my son …..And a new thermal running top for me.

5. Are you scared of spiders? If no to what size would you pick one up?
Yes. I have a healthy fear of anything that can kill/maim me.

6. What were you like at school:
Short and lazy. I’ve since got taller.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Pretty much climb any mountain or hill that I’ve been up before. There’s nothing like that summit feeling.

8. Name 3 people that you would have round for dinner (living or deceased):
Right now it would be the explorer and all round legend that is Ranulph Fiennes, and the incredible trail running couple Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg.

9. Tell us about something you’ve achieved:
Somerset county scouts draughts champion 1981.

10. What’s your favourite book, magazine or comic:
Like the Wind magazine is great.

11. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I was runner up in the 1980 Somerset county scout’s draughts championships.

12. What makes you happy:
Running on the downs especially during a summer rain shower although that seems so long ago now.

13. What do you do to relax:
Running, cycling, swimming and drinking.

14. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try:
An Astronaut just for the views.

15. Which store or website would you choose to max out your credit card:
Expedia.

16. What is most important in life:
Freedom, family and friends.

17. Who in your life has influenced you the most:
For me this changes through life, recent years it’s been my kids.

18. What’s your earliest memory:
Our kitchen ceiling falling down and the subsequent dust cloud.

19. Name your 3 favourite foods:
Cheese, apples and chutney.

20. Who is your sporting hero:
Lots of them but recently Kilian Jornet the ultra-runner/mountaineer who earlier this year ran up Everest unsupported, got sick on the way down rested a couple of days then did it again. 3 months later he won the hard rock 100 mile race despite falling and dislocating his collarbone and running the last 85 miles with his arm in a sling.

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

Get to know…Helen Moss

For this week’s chosen club member we are joined by Helen Moss. Helen has been with Arena for just over a year and initially started with the Thursday night training sessions. Helen said that the hardest thing in 2016 was joining a club where she didn’t know anyone and had a few self doubts about her running in an athletics club, a fear I’m sure we’ve all gone through when we joined Arena as well. Despite this, Helen is now a regular fixture on Monday’s and Thursday’s and we have seen her running and times improve immensely. In the latter part of 2017 we saw Helen entering more races, events and socials and in her words “met some great people at Arena” well Amen to that sister. Helen is another those members who has fitted in to the club like a hand in a glove and is a great addition to the club as well as to the ladies team. Now let’s find out what makes Helen Moss, well, Helen Moss.

Name: Helen Moss

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined Arena in October 2016 after trying out some Thursday sessions. I’d spent a year training for events on my own and it was getting harder to motivate myself as a result so decided to join a club and while looking at options, Arena appealed to me the most and it has not disappointed!

2. How long have you been running:
I ran cross country and track at school but neglected it in my teens and early 20’s. It was only in mid 2012 when it became something I started to commit to and began to really enjoy.

3. Where did you grow up:
I was born in Denmark and grew up in various locations in Asia before coming to England when I was 14, living in Sussex.

4. What do the last five words of the last text sent to you say:
“Not going to be in?” 

5. What types of holidays do you prefer:
Any holiday! Snow, sun, city, country, camping, I’ll take them all!

6. How long does it take you to get ready to go out:
I have absolutely no idea.

7. What are your running goals for 2018:
To run a sub 20 min 5km and complete a multi stage ultra… or two.

8. What do you think about the most:
The trinity: running, food and beer.

9. What makes you bored:
At the moment, unfortunately, it is work.

10. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up:
I feel as if my answer should be running… and also bacon. And ice cream. See Q12.

11. What were you like at school:
Top marks in procrastination!

12. What is your one weakness:
Snacking.

13. Who was you first celebrity crush pop star and film star:
Hmm… I think Taylor from Hanson and possibly Leonardo Di Caprio.

14. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 81, and find line 12, what does it say:
“Shards of sweat keep stinging at my eyes, blurring them up.” – Footnotes: How running makes us human. Vybarr Cregan-Reid.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
See the other 19 questions.

16. Who is your sporting hero:
She is more of an inspiration to go out and run and enjoy it, it’s Susie Chan. She only started running in her 30’s but has achieved so much, is always smiling and has run in some epic races that are on my bucket list.

17. Did you ever keep a New Year’s resolution:
They’re more aspirations than resolutions but no, not that I can recall. Maybe 2018 will be different…!

18. Apart from running what else do you like to do in your free time:
I’m not the best at time management but I enjoy cooking and baking so my free time is mostly spent in the kitchen if I’m not running. However, we’ve just moved so the New Year brings new weekend entertainment in the form of decorating.

19. Last gig you went to:
Trombone Shorty in London, it was brilliant!

20. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why:
Something that either involves being active or travelling or combines the two. I love both and find sitting all day in an office can get tedious.

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

Get to know…Gary Osborne

For this week’s chosen club member we are joined by a bit of a comic amongst us. However as Gary portrayed himself to me it went a little something like this: I have two legs with medium-high cadence, I give you, I couldn’t run a bath, I give you, I bore my family to tears over my split times, I give you and that is how it put’s himself over to me and this is how he would like to be know amongst his peers i guess. Definitely a man who likes a bit of banter and can definitely add he is a very upbeat guy. Now let’s find out what lies behind the mask of Gary Osborne.

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined in November 2016 after mucking about at Hove Park Thursday sessions for two months. You all seemed like a fun bunch to be around and my times starting to skim at the park runs so the two clicked… 

2. How long have you been running:
On and off since 2012. What started as ‘Dad Jogging’ to get some head space from the kids has turned into a sport I’m quite obsessed with.

3. Where did you grow up:
Grew up in Southwick, so the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree… 

4. Which three words describe you best: 
Sociable, opinionated, perfectionist. 

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Being a Dad to three kids will keep me busy enough!

6. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week: 
I saw Chesney Hawkes play ‘I Am The One and Only’ in Panto with the kids. I was just about to film it with my phone and realised no one in the audience were so I slowly put phone back in pocket to retain ultimate coolness. Hang on, is that the best thing that’s happened to me? Jeez…

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Go to University, it probably made who I am today. 

8. What was your favourite subject at school: 
Art.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
The most resonating sporting hero for me has to be Paul Gascoigne. Italia ‘90, watching them fall out of the World Cup with my Dad. Don’t cry Gazza… (the player not me).

10. What are you most looking forward to for 2018:
To regularly go sub 20 and 40 in 5 & 10k’s. It takes time to get to a good standard for sure. One thing I’ve learnt at Arena is patience and consistency. Running is a long game and I’m enjoying the journey. 

11. Have you anything on your bucket list that you still want to do:
Base Camp Everest and trek through the Himalayas.

12. What is your favourite drink:
Can’t beat a good glass of rouge! 

13. Have you ever had or do you have a nickname:
Gazza, G, G-Dog… I’ve heard them all and I’m not fussed. 

14. Name 3 people (dead or alive) you would like to sit in a pub with:
Ricky Gervais, Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Nicholson. Can you imagine?!

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I’m a freelance filmmaker and I travel a quite a bit with work. So I try and make my strava updates as interesting as possible, at the disgust of my running mates though haha. 

16. Who would you choose to be marooned on a desert island with (non family):
Myself. Being marooned with anyone isn’t going to end well, is it. 

17. What was the last film you watched: 
Logan.

18. Which time period would you visit in history:
To the time of pre-mobile phones. Does anyone remember…?

19. What are your 3 most used apps on your phone:
strava, instagram and Facebook (Facebook only because of the incredible arena updates).

20. What was the last book you read:
Bit geeky but it was called ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari. Proper eye opener.

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

Get to know…Helena Rooney

Can you guess which one is Helena

For this week’s chosen member we are joined by Helena Rooney. If I had to describe Helena to anyone then I would go with my first impression of her when she came along to our Hove Park session, in one word ‘Cool’. She has a quiet confidence about her and she comes from a sprinting background primarily. She fell out of love with the sprinting scene and decided to move more towards endurance. If you see her run, she is one of a very small percentage of runners that run forefoot and you won’t see a better example of it than Helena. Don’t let that fool you though as her running form is almost perfect. She is a top girl to hang with and if you haven’t spoken to her yet then please take the time to do so because, well, she is just so cool. Now let’s meet the lady herself and see what ticks her boxes.

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined Arena in May 2017. I had been to a running training camp in Iten, Kenya after reading “Running with Kenyans” by Adharanand Finn and returned wanting more!

2. How long have you been running:
I used to run a bit at school, but my first race as an adult was the Brooks 10k in 2010 – it was wet and cold and I had sworn never again!

3. Where did you grow up:
Thornton Heath, between Selhurst Park and the Ikea towers!

4. What’s the first thing you notice about somebody
What they are wearing – people in Brighton tend to wear some fantastically outrageous things.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Eating Nutella mostly – volunteering with the WI, STEM Learning and Goodgym.

6. What’s the one song that gets you up out of your chair
I couldn’t choose just one song! Something from the Britpop or Indie Disco eras… maybe some Funk or Glamrock?

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
I think I’m always looking forward to the next thing rather than looking back; life is too short and there is so much to see and do!

8. What are the three most used apps on your phone: 
Strava, Google weather and Instagram.

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Jo Pavey! European Champion at 40 and mother of two – I can struggle to get out of bed for Parkrun most weeks! 

10. What would be your perfect evening out:
Food, live music, good company.

11. What’s the best thing about living in Brighton:
All of it! The people, the music scene, being by the sea, the Downs and there is constantly something going on in the city.

12. What’s something you aren’t:
Short.

13. What one thing made you say “wow”:
The kindness of strangers – with the voluntary work I do I get to see those moments of humans being wonderful to each other for no reason other than it’s a nice thing to do.  

14. Tell me about someone you really admire:
My mum – she hasn’t had the greatest of cards dealt her in life, but she always manages to crack a smile at the end of the day.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I’m a qualified domestic electrician.

16. Have you got something that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away:
Warm jumpers – I am always cold!

17. Tell us about one of your biggest achievement’s that you are proud of: 
My engineering degrees – I was the first of my family to go to University and it wasn’t something many of my friends from home did. It has led to work in varied industries, chances to travel and being in a constant state of learning – I am rarely bored at work.

18. What gives you a high:
Running – no really, that’s why I love doing it.

19. You’re stuck on a desert island, what 3 people dead or alive would you have with you (non family):
David Bowie, Stephen Fry and Bear Grylls – that’s good tunes, interesting conversation and survival covered until we’re rescued.

20. Where is your one favourite place that you love to be: 
Wherever my friends and family are.

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