Category Archives: QandAs

Get to know club members

Get to know…Jim Risdale

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the Preston Park parkrun resident Mr Jim Risdale. A firm favourite amongst his running peers and always guaranteed a fast run up against this man. A devoted and loving father, a dad of the highest order and very much a family man, who wouldn’t want Jim on their Christmas card list. A top bloke so let’s meet the Family Guy Mr Jim Risdale.

Name: Jim Risdale

1. When did you join Arena:
Spring 2011, off the back of the Brighton Marathon. Charlie (my partner) and I went along to the Sunday morning marathon training runs and met a few Arena members there. They were friendly and quite persuasive, so we joined.

2. How long have you been running:
I did my first parkrun in 2009. I was chatting to a friend in the pub and she mentioned that there was a weekly 5k in Hove Park. I feigned interest but Charlie was keen and didn’t want to go on her own, so I became a parkrunner!

3. Where did you grow up:
Northampton. I came to Brighton for university in 2000, then lived in Leeds for a while but moved back to Brighton full time in 2007.  

4. Which three words describe you best: 
Lacking self discipline! I should run more, eat fewer Hobnobs and go to bed earlier.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
I spend most of my free time engaged in mundane household tasks or DIY, but secretly I love it. I also love building stuff out of Lego with my two-year-old. His enthusiasm is infectious, although his attention to detail and appreciation of symmetry is severely lacking.

6. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week: 
I was hunting for mice in the loft and came across my old guitar, so I’ve decided to start playing again after a break of about 15 years. Call it a mid life crisis, if you will.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Run the entire Isle of Wight coast path. Only this time I’d do it in multiple stages instead of trying to do the whole lot in 24 hours and getting drunk at the half-way point. Blame Al Silvester for that one!

8. What was your favorite subject at school: 
For a while it was Art, then Technology. Never Geography though, which is what I went on to study at university.

9. Who is your sporting hero: 
Well, it’s got to be Mo hasn’t it?

10. Have you gone out with mismatched socks on: 
I wouldn’t have thought so, no.

11. Have you anything on your bucket list that you still want to do:
Run a sub-17 5k. I’ve come fairly close this year but it’s proving elusive, probably due to the acts of self-sabotage described in Q4!

12. What is your favorite drink:
Ale. Harvey’s Best in a pub, or St Austell Proper Job when at home. Port too.

13. Have you gone in to a room and forgotten why:
Regularly.

14. Name 3 people (dead or alive) you would like to sit in a pub with:
My brother, who sadly I rarely see but can beat at pool. My partner Charlie, who doesn’t engage in binge-drinking anymore but might join me for a half. If I had to choose someone famous then it’d have to be Channel 4 Newsman Jon Snow.

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I watch Gardener’s World every Friday evening.

16. Apart from your wife, who would you choose to be marooned on a desert island with:
Well, we’re not married, so I guess I’d have to say Charlie!

17. Which came first the chicken or the egg: 
I don’t like eggs (apart from Easter Eggs) but I do like chicken, so I’m saying chicken.

18. Which time period would you visit in history:  
I’d go back to my first term at university and tell my younger self to lay off the Smirnoff Ice.

19. If you didn’t run what other sport would you like to have done:
Rugby, darts or maybe the triple jump. But sadly I don’t have the physique for any of those!

20. What was the last book you read:
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. I’m only half-way through but enjoying it thoroughly.

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

Get to know…Chris Park

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the easy laidback man of the pack Chris Park. I’ve had the pleasure of running with Chris over the last few years e     specially when we both trained for the Brighton Marathon and training in the http://RunBrighton,com group He is every part a gentleman and carries a very relaxed manner about him, rarely have I ever seen this man be phased by anything. As the saying goes “he is an all round good egg” so let’s find out some more about Chris Park.

Name: Chris Park

1. When did you join Arena:
I think it was 2013.

2. How long have you been running:
I was a sprinter and high jumper as a teenager, I took up distance running for a short while in my late twenties then stopped, didn’t start running seriously again until 2009-10 (first Brighton Marathon).

3. Where did you grow up:
Born and bred in York.

4. What was the last thing you bought:
A 3-pack of fishnet tights. Before you jump to conclusions, my daughter asked me to get them for her on my Amazon Prime account.

5. What’s one of the scariest things you’ve ever done:
Going down a black run in the Pyrenees when I didn’t really know how to ski. A french person told me it was easy. I was a gullible student at the time.

6. What were you like at school:
As far as my teachers were concerned: lazy, a daydreamer, a bit of a pain.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:      
Swimming with dolphins in New Zealand, but I’d like the ocean to be a bit calmer next time.

8. Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful:
Ocean waves, snowflakes, thunderstorms.

9. Tell us about something you’ve achieved:
York and District Under 16 High Jump Champion 1973. It’s all gone downhill since then.  

10. What’s your favourite book, magazine or comic:
I don’t really have a favourite book, but if I did it would probably be written by J.G.Ballard or Sebastian Faulks.

11. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I used to play bass guitar in an early eighties London post-punk band: baggy suits, cropped blond hair, beret (luckily there’s not too much photographic evidence).

12. What makes you happy:
Spending time with my family.

13. What do you do to relax: 
I Like learning to play musical instruments: I’ve recently started learning the violin and find practicing very therapeutic (neighbours aren’t so keen though).

14. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try:
As a child I wanted to be an airline pilot, still quite fancy having a go at flying, but I don’t have deep enough pockets to take it up as a hobby.

15. Which store or website would you choose to max out your credit card:
I’ve just paid off my credit cards, so I’m not going down that road again.

16. What is most important in life:
Not maxing out on your credit cards.

17. Who in your life has influenced you the most:
My wife Bronwen, always there to encourage me when I have a good idea and to stop me from doing stupid things.

18. What’s your earliest memory:
Tearfully watching our family dog, a red setter, being driven away by it’s new owner when I was 3 years old. My parents gave it away after it ate all my plastic toys, I think they thought it was going to eat me next.

19. Name your 3 favourite foods:
Mashed potatoes, fried eggs, grilled asparagus. 

20. Who is your sporting hero:
Mo Farah.

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

Get to know…Georgia Steers

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the girl who seems to pop up everywhere and none more so than being run director at the Hove Prom parkrun. She gives so much back to the sport of running and to the running community and always done with a smile and so much enthusiasm. A recent member to join the Arena family but a fine ambassador to fly the Arena flag. Let’s find out about more about Georgia Steers.

1. Where did you grow up:
Burgess Hill.

2. What was the last thing you ate: 
Blueberry Yoghurt

3. Where’s your favourite hangout place: 
I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite place, but I seem to spend an awful lot of time at Withdean!!

4. What’s your biggest inspiration:
My mum. I hate to say it, but she really does know everything!!! 

5. If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be: 
Roast chicken, roast potatoes and all the trimmings.

6. What 1 thing would you take with you on a deserted island (not human): 
My cat, Tiggy. 

7. Who is your sporting hero: 
Jess Ennis

8. What types of holidays do you prefer: 
I like all holidays! Si and I love travelling loads. We love getting our maps and guide books and exploring new cities.

9. Is there anything you hope to achieve in the next 5 years: 
There’s a few things I want to achieve in the next few years. I want to travel more and see some of the places on my bucket list. I also keep going on to Si that I want to skydive. I can’t quite convince him that its a good idea though, so I might have to do that one on my own.

10. What makes you happy: 
My friends, family, cats, running and Malbec to name a few things

11. What’s your all-time favourite film:
I change my mind on this so often!! Right now, it’s probably Burlesque.

12. What is your motto in life: 
I don’t really have a motto, but I quite like what’s on my new headband: No pain, No champagne. 

13. What’s something we don’t know about you: 
I am a qualified personal trainer and spin instructor. 

14. What’s the one thing you can’t live without: 
Tea 

15. Describe your childhood days: 
Full of lots of fun and laughter. I spent most of my childhood with my best friend Natalie who lived just up the road. She was the loud one and I was really quiet and shy!!! 

16. What makes you go wow:
The beauty of nature

17. First celebrity crush: 
Leonardo Dicaprio, I was totally in love with him when I was 16!

18. Name 3 (dead or alive) people you would like to have round for dinner:
Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister and the Queen of Dragons so I can find out what is going to happen in the last series of Game of Thrones.

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

Get to know…Jo Renshaw

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the ever smiling Jo Renshaw. Jo is one of those runners that will always give it her all and has probably run more half marathons than you ‘ve had hot dinners. When Jo is not running, you will probably find her tending to her plants and vegetables in her garden. A quiet lady but with a very calming personality so let’s find out a little more about Jo.

1. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined in June 2015 after running the Brighton Marathon for the first time. My aim was to improve my running and to make more running friends.

2. How long have you been running:
I began running in August 2013, having just turned 40 and quit smoking. I thought that if I enjoyed running and feeling fit and healthy it would keep me off the roll-ups. It did the trick! 

3. Where did you grow up:
I grew up in Leicester. 

4. Which three words describe you best: 
Determined, loyal, patient.

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
I have a couple of Lurchers, Hedge and Eli. I also have a garden that takes up much time – I grow our own veg and so growing, picking, cooking, eating keeps me fairly busy. 

6. What’s been the highlight of 2017: 
So far, the highlight has been Brighton Marathon Weekend. My sister and I ran BM10k then marshalled on the finish line. We both found it a very humbling experience and having sworn never to run another marathon promptly signed up for Paris in 2018! That and a lovely holiday in Corfu.

7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
I spent a month travelling round India on my own in 2010. I’d very happily do that again. 

8. What was your favourite subject at school: 
Nothing, I hated school!

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Her determination to make the Women’s Marathon and Olympic sport sends shivers of wonder and gratitude all over me 

10. Who in your life has influenced you the most: 
I think my Mum and Dad have influenced me ore than anyone else. They taught me to be resourceful. 

11. Have you anything on your bucket list that you still want to do:
There are lots of places I’ve not seen in the world. Top of my list is California. Sunshine and prolific food.

12. What is your favorite drink:
Water. We are so fortunate to have clean drinking water.

13. What makes you laugh:
Jumping in to the sea on a hot day, Billy Connolly, silly cat videos on YouTube to name a few things

14. Name 3 people (dead or alive) you would like to sit in a pub with:
My sister, my daughter and my partner

15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I practice Nichiren Buddhism and I’m currently training to be a life coach. 

16. What do you think about the most:
Food, without a doubt.

17. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can, What can you touch: 
A book called ‘Women who run with the wolves’ Clarisa Pinkola Estes. Every woman should read it. 

18. When are you at your happiest:
When I’m running, when I’m walking my dogs and when I’m making food in my kitchen. 

19. If you didn’t run what other sport would you like to have done:
Rally driving.

20. What has been you all-time favourite TV programme:
Breaking Bad kept me hooked.

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 now. Check back next Wednesday for another set of Q&A’s with our chosen club member.

Get to know…Dorian Rogers

Buck Rogers

For this weeks chosen club member we are joined by the one and only Dorian Rogers. Always a firm favourite when he is about and one of the Run Brighton ambassadors so someone that gives back to the sport. A top man to hang out with and very easy to chat with. If you don’t know Dorian then I suggest you make it a point to get to know him. Let’s find out a little more about him.

1. When and why did you join Arena:
2011 – I was struggling with solo training and had not enjoyed my second marathon. I needed a bit of a push and thought a club could help. I chose Arena because it was my dad’s club.

2. How long have you been running:
Since 2009. I did the Seaford half in August that year for charity, so I started running as training., Then they announced the first Brighton marathon, so I entered that.

3. Where did you grow up:
Brighton. Born and bred.

4. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
Somewhere in South or central American I think. Patagonia has an appeal. 

5. Apart from running what else do you do with your time:
Drinking too much cider.

6. What would you say to your younger self:
Don’t drink so much cider.

7. If you could go back to an age in your life what age would it be and why:
My 30s I think. I could do with being a bit younger, but I don’t think I could cope with my youth again.

8. What’s your favourite website: 
www.neonfiller.com (blatant plug for a website I help run).

9. Who is your sporting hero:
Chris Hughton of course!

10. What is your favourite album ever:
69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields

11. Have you ever had or do you have a nickname:
Loads and loads. Buck, Big face, Roogers, Big D. The list goes on. Doz is the most common. Recently at a vets track and field meet I gained the nickname “The Juggernaut”

12. What makes you happy:
Simple things. Relaxed time with my wife. Running on the downs. Music. Reading comics (I’m a child at heart). Oh, and cider.

13. What was the last thing you bought:
A Guided By Voices album on vinyl. 

14. What’s something you miss the most from childhood:
The joy of not having to go to work.

15. What’s something we don’t know about you:
I once gave former Home and Away actress Isla Fisher advice on how to store a cooked chicken.

16. What’s the one thing you can’t live without:
My lovely wife. Or cheese.

17. What is the hardest thing you ever had to do: 
Taking my cat to be put down. That or the Beachy Head marathon.

18. What are your three most used apps:
Facebook, Spotify and the Podcast app.

19. What were you like at school:
A lot like I am now, only wearing glasses. And a lot more annoying I suspect.

20. What’s the last photo you took on your phone:
A rainy festival shot. Attached. 

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

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.

 

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.