Category Archives: QandAs

Get to know club members

Get to know…Mats Gedin

For this week’s chosen club member we are joined by one of Arena’s finest and another of our longer serving members Mr Mats Gedin. Mats has been a member for more than 15 years, when he joined Arena way back in 2002.

He moved away from the UK in 2012 but still makes the club honour, by running for Arena around the globe. He works for Ericsson in Sweden but spends most of his time travelling around, mostly in Europe, so the training environment varies hugely which makes it far from boring and so far he has always managed to get home safely.

Even though nowadays Mats is working outside the UK, he still has family in the UK and frequently manages to get back to see them and can always find time to squeeze in a local run.

Between 2002 and 2012 he was very much a part of the racing scene as he represented Arena in many races. His accolades include winning the Sussex Grand Prix in 2006 as well as being crowned as the best Sussex athlete in several marathons. Indeed Mats still holds a couple of places in the Men’s club records that being in the 10k – 34.13 and in the marathon – 2.37.49 so you can see he was certainly a big asset representing Arena. Now let’s dig a little deeper to find what keeps this club stalwart up and out there.

Name: Mats Gedin

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I came with my family to UK in 1996 and had never even considered joining a running club, However, my wife started with Arena80 in the late 90’s and I joined the club in 2002 as I wanted to start more frequent racing and with a team. Unfortunately, shortly after I joined, she had to stop her running career due to injuries.

2. How long have you been running:
I used to play football in the summer and complimented with handball in the winter to avoid preseason running, as I did not like it very much. As warmup for matches I used to run several laps on a local track under the minute though. (No one told me that was good times without training).

In 1984, I started running more frequently after a severe car accident, with sporadic races. 

3. Where did you grow up:
I grew up in the south part of Stockholm and moved to a small harbour town just south of Stockholm in Sweden when I was 6.

4. Any thoughts on the modern day running in comparison to when you started out: 
Running and athletics in Sweden when I grew up was mainly for freaks or people not good enough for the football or Hockey teams. Today, talent goes first, whatever the sport and running and athletics is a sport for heroes. HUGE difference!

5. Name 3 people you would like to with you at the dinner table:
My wife and my 2 children of course.

6. What’s your favourite film/book/album:
Bill Brysons book “A short story of nearly everything”  and Linkin park type of music.

7. What do you consider to be your best ever race:
Must be my first London Marathon on my own in 2002, running with no tactics and no idea of what a marathon does to you and I finished in 2:38 about 30 minutes better than expected. And of course winning the tough Rursee marathon in Germany in 2014. 

8. If your best friend described you what do you think they would say:
Boring, stubborn and keeps away from the beaten track.

9. You can go back to one moment in your life, where would you be:
Avoid my car accident life change in 1984.

10. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up:
Running and not be able to enjoy the country side.

11. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Whenever I can I go to my summer house in the Archipelago southeast of Stockholm.

12. What do you think was the most important invention in the last 100 years:
Computers and the web.

13. How did you feel when your son Timmy first beat you in a race:
Has he beaten me??? (Admin says: there is a whisper going around that a young Timmy Gedin of 17 years of age beat you for the first time at the Goodwood cross country race in 2008!…Just Sayin’).

14. How have you kept your motivation to keep running after so many years:
Way of life, stress limiter and great if I can beat the youngsters.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I am left handed but writes using my right hand.

16. Who is your sporting hero:
Try not to have any heroes, as I just get angry when find them on drugs.

17. What would you say to your younger self:  
Enjoy the moment better.

18. What were you like at school:
Terrible outside the classroom. Very competitive and sporty.

19. What is your one weakness:
I cannot stop the clock.

20. Have you anything on your bucket list that you still want to do:  
Spend a few weeks in the wilderness in the north of Sweden.

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

Get to know…Lorraine Hale

For this weeks “Get to Know”, we have a member that joined us at the start of the year as Lorraine only joined us in January. She is a regular at both Monday night track sessions as well ad the Hove Park sessions. Lorraine only started running a couple of years ago so in running terms still fairly new to it all however that has not stopped her from making a name for herself by winning the prestigious ‘most improved athlete’ at this years Arena awards night. You’ll always find Lorraine checking her watch as she runs to see if she has got her pacing right and I’ve never seen this girl slack at the training sessions either. A lovely girl to go with it all as well so without further ado let’s check in with Lorraine Hale…

1. When and why did you join Arena:
January 2017. I am new to running so wanted to improve by going to some training sessions where I knew I would be pushed. I also wanted to meet new people who I could run with.

2. How long have you been running:
I did my first Park Run in March 2015, and before that I hadn’t run since I was at school. Every running distance has been a first for me and I now wish I started running years ago to see how fast I would have been.

3. Where did you grow up:
Crawley, West Sussex.

4. What do the last five words of the last text sent to you say:
Chip time was 00:46.46 Congratulations!

5. What types of holidays do you prefer:
Any holiday where the sun is shinning as I love the heat and can lay in the sun for hours. Shopping trips with my friends and ski-ing holidays with my family.

6. How long does it take you to get ready to go out:
I would say about 30 minutes but my husband would say at least an hour!

7. What do you like about living in Brighton:
The Lanes, I love walking through the lanes and having lunch or dinner in a new restaurant that has opened.

8. What’s your favourite kind of drink:
Any cocktails.

9. What makes you bored:
Sitting in traffic.

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

11. What three words describe you:
Caring, easy-going and emotional.

12. What is your one weakness:
Handbags! I have a bit of a collection and have to tell my husband they are always such a bargain and I have had them for ages.

13. What makes you happy:
Spending time with my family and friends, travelling, shopping, eating out and running. 

14. Tell me something you would happily do again:
Go to Australia. I loved it there and it wasn’t even on my list of places, I wanted to visit.

15. What’s the most amazing thing you have ever done:
Giving birth to my two beautiful children without any pain relief.

16. Who is your sporting hero:
Usain Bolt.

17. What one thing do you like to do the most:
Travel. I like to go to new places and experience different cultures.

18. Do you like to plan things out in detail or be spontaneous:
I always plan everything and am very organised. My husband says, I always have an itinerary. 

19. Quote a line from one of your favourite songs:
“Sometimes I feel I’ve got to Run away, I’ve got to get away from the pain you drive into the heart of me”.
Tainted Love by Soft Cell.

20. What is your favourite colour and why?:
Pink. You must have noticed as every running outfit is Pink! I am very girlie so just love Pink.

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

Get to know…Sam Bennett

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by Sam Bennett. Sam joined Arena over two years ago and was part of last year’s triumphant men’s team that won the South Downs 100mile Relay (a first in Arena 80 history!). 2017 has been pretty horrible to Sam injury-wise, but prior to his extended layoff, he was a mainstay at the weekly Monday night track sessions. Known to his friends at Arena as a “massive Runnerd” (his words!), Sam is very willing to share his extensive knowledge on training and marathon nutrition with anyone who asks (or prepared to listen). Here’s hoping his rehab continues successfully, and we see him back at the track soon…

Admin got a little carried away with the questions this week but Sam was more than happy to answer them all so enjoy the extra dosage of Q’s

1. When and why did you join Arena:
Summer 2015 – I’d been thinking of joining an Athletics Club since I moved to Brighton in 2013. Three marathons later (Chicago, Tokyo and Boston) and I finally got round to it! You can thank Kat Rowinska and Emily Proto that it was Arena. (#ArenaTillIDie).

2. How long have you been running:
Since 2006 – I came back to the UK after a year and half travelling and my mate randomly asked if I wanted to go for a run. I couldn’t make a single lap of Clapham Common back then! Seven marathons later, I’ve done all right… (Mind you, the mate in question became a 31min 10k-er before his, err, “retirement!”).

3. Where did you grow up:
Born in Anglesey, deepest North Wales – can’t you tell by the accent?
Grew up in South London as of 3yrs old…

4. Who would you like to be for a day
An elite sports coach – I’d say Alberto Salazar, if not for all the “controversy.”

5. When did you last step outside? What were you doing:
Lunchtime today – running, of course!

6. What’s your favourite film:
There are a lot of really good movies that I love, but the only films you can watch an infinite number of times are the original Star Wards trilogy.

7. Best live band you have seen:
Not a band, but artists – impossible to separate Prince at the O2 in 2007 and Michael Jackson at Wembley, 1988 (The Bad Tour). Not a bad top two!

8. If your best friend described you what do you think they would say:
Loyal, effervescent, annoying, does not have an ending to his stories.

9. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up:
Duh, RUNNING. (Which is why an injury ridden 2017 has sucked so much!).

10. What is something you want to do in the next ten years:
Change my career, have another child, run the marathon de sables, run Boston marathon (again), start breaking my PBs again.

11. What do you think was the most important invention in the last 100 years:
The running shoe! (No, the internet, of course – there really isn’t another option).

12. Have you ever had a celebrity crush:
Many… I do still quite fancy Jenna Coleman.

13. Did you ever keep a New Year’s resolution:
Well last year I made the resolution to run London in under 3hrs and I kept that! But, since my resolutions are mostly, “go to bed earlier” and “get more sleep,” no.

14. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I’ll tell you two: When I was 10, I stared in a film made by National Film Theatre students – my Mum in the film was played by an actress who was in the 80s drama, Big Deal (and later, Corrie!) It was shown at BAFTA and it got a standing ovation…
And I have a Six Star medal – I’ve ran all six World Major Marathons. (Actually, some Arenas already knew that).

15. Who is your sporting hero:
Famous: Paula, Mo, David Rudisha, Victoria Pendleton, Jonnie Peacock.
IRL: Susie Chan (on social media) and Emily Proto.

16. What would you say to your younger self:  
1) You’ll get bored of your career by the time you’re in your 40s, so maybe give it a bit more thought, yeah?
2) Don’t wait until you’re 32 to start running.

17. Grab the nearest book or magazine, turn to page 58, and find line 10, what do the first 10 words say:
“…is used in whisky barrels just long enough to impart…”
(It’s my legendary 80s cocktail book – Cocktails and Mixed Drinks by Eddie Tirado – Google him!).

18. What is your one weakness:
PROCRASTINATION. (*hands in Get To Know questions three weeks late*).

19. What was your favorite childhood toy:  
I was dangerously addicted to Transformers for longer than was really necessary.

20. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
I’ve been to quite a few – Argentina or Mongolia are still on my bucket list though.

21. What else do you do with your time:
Cycling, watch Marvel movies with my daughter, yoga, spend too much time on Twitter.

22. What is your favourite website:
Runners World!

23. Are you scared of anything:
Err, quite – irrationally – phobic of cockroaches. Pretty much fine with other insects or spiders – but Cockroaches give me the heebie jeebies.

24. Tell us about something you would happily do again:
The six World Marathon Majors (I might actually do this…).

25. If you could have 3 people (dead or alive) for dinner who would you choose:
Nelson Mandela, Frankie Knuckles, Jesse Owens (or, if I can’t have three dead people, Michael Johnson).

26. Have you ever been on a lads holiday and if so what was it like
Not strictly, since there were girls with us too, but Ibiza (one of many times) – 2003. It was CARNAGE.

27. Have you got something that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away:
I still have all my tickets stubs from the London 2012 Olympics in my desk drawer.

28. What were you like at school:
Fairly nerdy until the end of the third year, when I transformed myself over the Summer to return as almost cool in the fourth year.

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

Get to know…Vicki Clark

For this week’s chosen club member we are joined by one of our longer serving members Vicki Clark, who is celebrating her 20 year anniversary with Arena 80. Although she now lives in Meads Village near Eastbourne, back in the day she was an active competitive member of the club, racing most weekends and winning many team medals. She was the Senior & U20 Women’s XC Team Manager for 8 years and currently works on an ad-hoc basis at the London Marathon. She has worked at American Express for 20 years and feels privileged that her work takes her to New York often where running in Central Park on a Sunday Morning at 7am is a joy. Vicki is still holds 5th place in the Arena women’s club records for her fine 10 mile run as a V40 at Portsmouth in 2010 with a time of 63.13 so truly a class athlete for Arena. You can still see Vicki donning the blue vest of Arena at some of the big races and even more so at the XC league races. I know Arena 80 has brought her a lot of pleasure over the years so let’s hear more from her.

1. When and why did you join Arena: 
It was about 1997. I was a member of Seaford Striders for about 4 years and moved across to Arena as they had a strong female section. Nothing much has changed in 20 years then 😉

2. How long have you been running:
For about 26 years. I shared a house with my friend who was an England Hockey Player when I first left University and went to work in London. We used to train together and she got me in to running. It was something I could do easily after work to keep my fitness up.

3. Where did you grow up:
Seaford. I’ll never ever leave the Sussex Coast. It’s beautiful.

4. What got you into running:
For the reasons above.

5. What do you consider to be your greatest race?
For me it’s all about times so my 37:05 at Chichester 10km in 2007 and my 1:23 at Reading Half Marathon followed by 3:06 London Marathon both in 2009. They both felt incredibly comfortable. Those types of races only come around a few times in your competitive career but when they do, it feels amazing.

6. How different was the running scene back when you started to how it is today:
Less women competitively ran and all of us were running gadget free and guessing pace and mileage. Seemed to work just fine.

7. Did you do other sports in your earlier days as well as running:
I was the sporty kid at school and competed in pretty much every ball sport. I was Sussex Hockey Captain from age 15 to 18, trained with the England U18 squad but unfortunately never got an official cap. I also played Tennis for Sussex U16’s and dabbled in Triathlon and Duathlon when I had more time to train and not such a demanding career like now. I’ll go back to Triathlon when I retire.

8. Any thoughts on the modern-day Arena, has anything changed:
*See below.

9. Who were the faces on the running scene back then:
There were some phenomenal Sussex based women in the 1990’s. Libby Jones, Julia Armstrong and Tracy Owen dominated road racing. They were the girls I aspired to be as fast as. Then Julie Briggs, Caroline Hoyte, Lynn Williams and Holly Wheeler (all Arena 80) ruled a little later for years in Sussex. Two of them still do!

10. Who is your sporting hero:
Helen Glover. Not only is she a phenomenal rower, she is an exceptional all round athlete. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her and she is also annoyingly happy, chatty and friendly.

11. What do you think has been your life’s major sporting achievement:
Unquestionably when myself, Julie Briggs and Louise Vallier won the Women’s Team Marathon Championships in London 2009. We had all trained so hard and although we were running for individual times we knew we could potentially get the 1st team prize if Julie and Louise both ran sub 3 hour marathons and I could run a sub 3hr 7min marathon. We did it!

12. What’s been your favourite brand of sportswear:
For those that know me, I love a good quality brand! Some of my favourites are Falke Ergonomic, GORE, Under Armour, Castelli and Sugoi. I spend far too much money on kit but you can never have enough right?

13. What’s something that you aren’t:
Patient.

14. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I was a contestant on a 1980’s children’s programme hosted by Johnny Ball called ‘Secret’s Out’ at the age of 12. Famous for 5 minutes.

15. You’re running freely up on the hills, what’s playing in your earphones:
I love 80’s music as it reminds me of such happy times. I’m also partial to a bit of Fat Boy Slim when running.

16. What were you like at school:
Very sporty and VERY competitive! That’s not changed much. I’ve just learnt to tone down my competitiveness a bit!

17. Tell us about something you would happily do again:
I would happily clean my car over and over and over again. I find it quite therapeutic. Weird I know.

18. Is there anything that you are scared of:
I’m slightly scared of horses. I used to ride and got thrown off a horse when I was about 14. I then realised how strong and unpredictable they can be and feel myself getting a bit nervous when I’m out on my bike in the countryside and then see one on the road in the distance. They have minds of their own. One threw its rider after being scared by runners at the Barnes Green Half Marathon many years ago and it went crazy. It took an Arena 80 member to bring it back under control but I don’t remember who that was. Anyone remember?

19. What advice would you give to your younger self:
I don’t know if I was sufficiently grateful when I was younger, but I am now. I think as you get older you do realise how lucky you are.

20. When are you at your happiest:
We stay in a small fishing village called Portixol in Mallorca a few times a year and to wake up on a summer’s morning, throw open the balcony doors and to be able to hear nothing apart from small fishing boats leaving the harbour is just heaven. Also when we are there our lives are not dictated by time and that makes me really happy.

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

Get to know…Rachael Woolston

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the very lovely Rachael Woolsten. Rachael joined us over two years ago and was part of this year’s winning Arena women’s South Downs Relay Team. If she’s not running with Arena, she’s training women through her business, Girls Run the World or writing about running & health for magazines and newspapers. Rachael has certainly been a great asset to the lady’s team since joining the club and is much respected amongst her peers. I’m sure you all know her face so let’s find out a little more about this very cool, calm character, over to you Ms Woolston.

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I can’t actually remember, probably because my attendance is bit off and on but I think it was about two years ago. I joined because I was spending so much time coaching others, I wanted some time for my own training and for someone to tell me what to do!

2. How long have you been running:
Since 2000. I went to work in Sydney and was so inspired by the landscape and weather, I started getting up every morning to run along the coastal path or through the city. I was hooked on running from then on but more as a way to explore as I travelled than anything more serious than that.

3. Where did you grow up:
Initially Shirley, just outside Croydon and then near Bromley.

4. What’s the first thing you notice about somebody:
Their shoes. I love a nice pair of shoes. Or trainers.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
Travelling if I have the money, otherwise, cooking, mountain biking, open water swimming, or anything else where i’m outdoors and active.

6. What’s the one song that gets you up out of your chair:
Anything that Gilles Petersen plays at 3pm on Saturday on BBC Radio 6. If i’m in public, nothing gets me out of my chair unless I’m drunk.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Run in the mountains of the Himalayas. I went to write a magazine article about the development of women’s running in India, and my contact in Mumbai also mentored young runners in mountain villages around Kalimpong which is near Darjeeling.  I decided to travel up there and spent four days meeting and running with them. It was an incredible experience.

8. What are the three most used apps on your phone:
Sadly, Instagram (it’s work, honest!) , the weather app, DarkSky, which is very accurate (depressingly so, if you have to get up early in the morning to train others outdoors!) and IMuscle2 by 3D4Medical which I’m always telling my clients to get (it’s free and if you’re a runner, you should get it too!)

9. Who is your sporting hero:
I was fortunate enough to meet Katherine Switzer, who was the first woman to run the Boston marathon back in the 1970s. She’s pretty inspiring.  But at the risk of sounding cheesy, my real heroines are the women I run with – amazing, inspiring women who juggle work, kids, and all the other things life throws at them and still get out to train. And they’re still super fast!

10. What would be your perfect evening out:
Running, mountain-biking or skiing while the sun goes down before going to a country pub with a huge fire, stunning food and delicious red wine. And not having to worry about how we were going to get home.

11. What’s the best thing about living in Brighton:
The sea and the Downs.

12. What’s something you aren’t:
chilled! I’m working on it!

13. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
I couldn’t decide on one single place, I LOVE travelling. Big passions for me at the mo are Myanmar before it changes completely and Ethiopia.

14. Tell me about someone you really admire:
Tom, my partner. He’s always happy and so positive.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I won the veteran women’s Mumbai marathon and ended up hanging out backstage with the elite athletes before being presented a gold medal on stage in front of hundreds of thousands. It was great because I was travelling alone and so when I crossed the finish line, I’d felt a bit deflated at not having anyone to share the run with! (p.s I wasn’t fast, there just weren’t that many women running!)

16. Do you fear anything:
Being bored.

17. What has been your biggest achievement in your life so far:  
I’m not sure I’d count anything as my biggest achievement. There’s always something else that inspires me to try.

18. What gives you a high:
Being outdoors, running or cycling or swimming at sunrise or sunset.

19. Have you got something that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away:
A manuscript. I wrote the draft of a novel ten years ago. It was harder than any track session! It languishes under my bed and somewhere in the future, a long time from now, I hope I’ll be able to use what I learned from writing that to write something else.

20. Where is your one favourite place that you love to be:  
More a state of mind than a place, feeling inspired.

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

Get to know…Craig Isaac

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the member who was our 1000th member and, as he says, “his first and last trophy…ever”.  A guy with a top sense of humour and always good for some banter with. Craig has been a solid runner for Arena and can always be counted on for scoring when needed for Arena. A genuinely all round nice guy so let’s meet Mr 1000, Craig Isaac.

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I entered Brighton Marathon in 2015 but it suddenly dawned on me that running 10k a couple of times a week wasn’t going to cut the mustard…. so I got the yellow pages out and looked up running clubs and Arena was at the top of the page. 

2. How long have you been running:
About 4 years but I did run a 400m race when I was 14 and I came last, so unfinished business.

3. Where did you grow up:
Winchester.

4. Which three words describe you best:
Concerned, protective, proud

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
A busy work/family life doesn’t permit much free time, I only manage to squeeze three runs into my week regardless of what I’m training for. 

6. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this year:
If we’re talking running my 5k and 10k times were high points for me this year

7. Tell me something you would happily do again:
It may be a case of rose-tinted glasses but I fancy reliving my youth; art school, London and a soundtrack I’ll never tire of. 

8. What do you think about the most during the day:
Work stuff unfortunately, I’m ready to retire. 

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Matt Le Tissier the laziest, most skilful player of an era. 

10. What’s something that you aren’t:
The fastest or the slowest. 

11. Have you anything on your bucket list that you still want to do:
No bucket list for me but my next challenge will be the Arena Christmas party and maybe a ‘mini’ ultra in France next year.

12. Think fast, what do you like right now:
I’ve just shazzamed this tune and I’m loving it “love honey, love heartache” by Man Friday……https://youtu.be/790l7dUHjVQ

13. What’s something or someone you miss the most from childhood:
Action Man, Scalextrics, Etch-a-sketch, Tonka, bmx, Tamiya, Bauer, Spectrum, Happy Shopper and poppers.

14. Name 3 people (dead or alive) you would like to sit in a pub with:
Shaun Ryder, Joan of Ark and Jean Michelle Basquiat. 

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
My youngest son Zachary gave me ‘a power’ two years ago, I always carry it when I’m in a race, he has offered to give ‘powers’ to my friends at the running club….see me at track on Monday and I’ll sort you out.

16. Is there anything that you are afraid of:
DNF 

17. What would your epitaph say:
“he twisted his melons man”.

18. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 35, and find line 8. What does it read:  
“Just get happy and screaming. It’s happening. It’s just …..house!” Adventures in wonderland by Sheryl Garratt.

19. If you didn’t run what other sport would you like to have done:
Darts (with a calculator).

20. Would you prefer to go bungee jumping or sky diving or have you done either:
I haven’t attempted either but if I had the choice it would be sky diving as it also involves an engine, some wings and an emergency cord.

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

Get to know…Kate Reid

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the lovely Kate Reid. I remember chatting to Kate when she first joined Arena and what struck me about her was how gentle she was in her manner and how she loved being a mother to her little girl. She was very calming to chat with and it was like I had known her for a long time. Kate is more evidence of how Arena can bring on someone’s running. I have watched her over the year and can see a vast improvement in her pace and endurance on the track. A quiet mannered lady but a real pleasure to have in the Arena camp.

Name:   Kate Reid

1.When and why did you join Arena:
About this time last year. I’d been meaning but failing to join a running club for a few years and thought it would be a good way to get back in to running, after giving birth to my little girl in February 2016

2. How long have you been running:
Since 2005. A friend and I saw an advert for Race for Life and decided to get off our lazy backsides and do it! I haven’t looked back since.

3. Where did you grow up:
In Chester, aka Hollyoaks

4. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning: 
Urgh, another terrible night’s sleep! How many times was I woken up last night to the sound of ‘Mummmmmmy!’?!

5. What do you do for fun:
Run, cycle, go to gigs and festivals, travel…. also a lot of baby orientated stuff these days!

6. Have you got something that you just cannot bare to throw away:
It sounds silly, but I have some clothes from my younger years that I keep because they remind me of fun nights out

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Trek the Inca Trail. I did this in my early twenties during a trip around Latin America and it was an incredible experience.

8. What are the three most used apps on your phone: 
Whatsapp, Ebay and I’d like to say Strava but it’s probably more likely to be Hoop or something

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Serena Williams

10. Tell us about something you’ve proud to have achieved: 
Running my first marathon in Paris in 3 hours 48. My aim was to get under 4 hours so i was really pleased with my time. However I was disappointed to miss the wine at mile 22!

11. Have you got anything on your bucket list:
Loads, its a bit overwhelming! I’ve done my fair share of travelling but there are lots of places I would still love to visit. Off the top of my head I’d really like to go to Japan. I’d also like to work abroad at some point in my life… maybe in Japan, two birds with one stone!

12. What makes you happy:
Spending time with my family and especially watching my little girl explore the world around her and learn new things.

13. What was the last film you watched:  
Manchester by the Sea

14. What type of music do you like most:
Indie and dance music and any combination of the two

15. What’s something we don’t know about you:
I can play the clarinet and during my school days I was a member of a very successful jazz ensemble

16. What makes you go wow:
Watching gymnastics. Also some of the things my students say! (I’m a teacher)

17. What’s the last concert or gig that you went to:
Last May I saw Metronomy at Brixton Academy 

18. What is the worst pain you’ve ever experienced:  
Child birth, hands down. A marathon is a walk in the park in comparison!

19. What was the last thing you bought:  
A Halloween outfit for my daughter.

20. What’s the best thing about living in Brighton:
Living in a place with such a positive mentality – fair and socially conscious. Having Caroline Lucas as my MP. The beach is also pretty good.

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

Get to know…John Thompson

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the man who has just won the Arena award for the Arena 80 athlete who has shown the greatest improvement during 2017. For those that haven’t see the notes on the evening then the reason that John won was due to the extra work he put’s in with his training which has helped him to notch up PB’s this year in every distance that he has run in. You will find him hanging out with Nicky Yeates at parkruns and races as they push each other on during the races. John has come along way since he first started with Arena as back then he started in the improvers group. he has certainly pushed himself to get to where he is today and the awards was justification for all of that hard work. So now let’s meet John Thompson.

Name: John Thompson

1. When did you join Arena:
April 2016.

2. How long have you been running:
Four years

3. Where did you grow up:
Southend, Essex

4. Which three words describe you best:
Dashing, determined, delusional

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time: 
I like to swim a couple of times a week and also socialise with other running pals

6. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this year:
It’s a secret…

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again: 
Re-visit South Island, New Zealand. Beautiful and surprisingly diverse scenery with lots of exciting activity opportunities and great food and wine. Also just about any kind of (benign) wildlife encounters.

8. What was your favourite subject at school:
Creative English writing.

9. Who is your sporting hero: 
Brighton-based ultra runner Dan Lawson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Lawson)

10. What do you consider to be your best race:
This year’s Phoenix 10k – massive PB both for the first 5km and the entire race

11. Have you anything on your bucket list that you still want to do:
Swim the Olympic pools of the world (or at least some more of them), swim with dolphins, run some parkruns abroad, cycle Mizen to Malin in Ireland, bring more kittens into the world (ideally Abyssinians), see my son sorted, settled and happy.

12. What is your favourite drink: 
Cider.

13. What makes you happy:
Swimming, cycling, cinema and cider with company.

14. Name 3 people (dead or alive) you would like to sit in a pub with: 
My brother Keith (who passed away earlier this year), my son (when he is old enough) and my Mum (but not necessarily all at the same time).

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you: 
When I was a teenager, I brewed my own beer and wine and also bred gerbils, some of which won best of breed at a show for pigeons, rabbits, poultry and rodents at Alexandra Palace.

16. What TV programme is a must watch for you:
 Game of Thrones.

17. What’s your earliest memory:
Encouraging wars between rival red and black ant colonies in the garden of the house where I was born.

18. Have you got or ever had a nick name:  
JT, because where I grew up there were a lot of other people called John.

19. If you didn’t run what other sport would you like to have done: 
I would always rather be cycling, but I would like to learn to ski.

20. What was the last book you read:
Lee Brilleaux: Rock’n’roll Gentleman by Zoe Howe (I really should get back into reading more…).

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