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:
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.