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.