Get to know…Chris Keene

For this week’s chosen club member we are joined by the man with one of the most upright running postures I have seen. No one can say that this man doesn’t give his training and races a good shot as he can always be seen working hard. Chris is very much a thoughts and ideas man as he gave some great feedback about improving the Arena website, so much so that many of his ideas were introduced and we’ve found it to be very useful for all of our members (thanks Chris). Now sit back and enjoy this comprehensive Q&A session but another great read. Chris Keene the stage is yours!!
Name: Chris Keene 
1. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined in Arena November 2016, so just over a year a go, I’ll answer why in the next question (which does somewhat make it sound more exciting than it is).
2. How long have you been running:
I started waddling around 2009. I discovered Run Keeper in 2010. Being both a statistics geek, and map geek  (I’m fascinating company), and wanting to explore a city I had only ever seen the centre of, this was bait.
May 2011 I joined my first run, the Hastings 5 miles, with zero preparation, and decided that was enough to sign up for the Brighton Half-ish Marathon the next February. My “Training plan” for which was to run just once a week and just add on half a mile each time. Now clearly a running pro I signed up for the 2013 Marathon the year after. Which is without question the most stupidest thing I have ever done.
It took a year for the mental scars to heal, I still get flashbacks, and in the summer of 2014 I discovered Preston Park Parkrun. I love it. My first run was just under 25, in the next couple of months I got under 22 mins, and then a few months later in 2015, sub 21. Since then, every week, I’ve been trying to get sub 20. I’m now, as of the Arena event a few weeks a go, 8 seconds away.
Around the same time as starting Parkrun, I also signed up for a couple of 10ks I found on the fab (thanks Bob). One was along the Arun Valley, the other was along the seafront in Hove organised by some running club or other. It was a great race, and best of all were the tuck-shop snacks (Breakaways!) at the end – of which I probably ate more than my entry fee was worth. 
I signed up again a year later, and noticed that I was in the minority that weren’t in a running club. I thought there must be something in that, so after a cursory glance of the websites of Brighton based running clubs, and also on the quality of the finish line munchies, I decided to join Arena 80. And so, being strongly of a view of why do today what you can put off for about a year, in Autumn 2016 I joined Arena. 
3. Where did you grow up:
Northampton, a place where the people aspire to Milton Keynes. Northamptonshire escapees seem well represented in Arena!
4. WWhich three words describe you best: 
 Lazy, easy going, [several hours later…] procrastinator.
5. Apart from running what else do you do with your free time:
I would like to tell you about my cultural endeavours, volunteering, and lifelong learning. But keeping it honest, spending too much on eating and drinking out, binge watching Netflix, wasting my life away on the web, and sitting on delayed trains.
6. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week: 
Went to a restaurant I hadn’t been to before near Marylebone and had amazing ramen. And, oh yes, at the weekend met up with relatives and family I hadn’t seen for a long while to celebrate my Nan’s 95th birthday. That should probably come before the nice Ramen shouldn’t it (it was very good).
7. Tell me about something you would happily do again:
Hong Kong. Failing that, laserquest.
8. What was your favorite subject at school: 
Probably Science, though mostly reading the pages of the textbook unrelated to what we were doing.
9. Who is your sporting hero:
You know, I’ve tried. But from a young age no sport has really ever got me interested. 
So for a hero, a little bit random, I will say Kathrine Switzer, who had the audacity to enter the Boston Marathon with two x chromosomes. 
10. What’s been your highlight of 2017: 
I was way way too happy after getting my PBs last year. (This is the advantage of being very slow, joining a running club and being slightly less slow).
I was lucky enough to visit many different countries last year, and have some amazing food in most of them, which probably didn’t help the first highlight.
11. Have you anything on your bucket list that you still want to do:
I’m too lazy to come up with a bucket list. I’d like to fly a plane; master playing the piano and be fluent in another language, but only if each of these can be achieved in an hour or two, I just don’t have the attention sp…. OOOH favourite drink!
12. What is your favourite drink:
When I left University, I was determined that I wouldn’t develop a taste for good coffee, or good wine. Too many people I knew spent loads of money on espresso machines and pricy wine whereas I was happy with a french press and a 5 quid bottle from odd bins. 
Well, I’ve failed. I’m now that person who trudges past endless coffee shops to find the right level of sludgy oily black stuff. I truly despise myself. 
13. First song you ever purchased:
Pretty sure it was the Fraggle Rock album on cassette. Not gonna lie, those tunes were pretty sick. Was also a sucker for all those Now that’s what I call music tapes. ‘Now 4’ was the best, incase there is any confusion.
14. Name 3 people (dead or alive) you would like to sit in a pub with:
Danny Baker; Sara Pascoe; Caitlin Moran. All amazing company. All good talkers, thus saving me the burden of having to make conversation.  
15. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I was obsessed with lighting as a kid. This ranged from critiquing the street lighting of every road I went down, to spending more time looking up at the theatre than what was actually happening on the stage.
16. What was your favourite toy as a kid:
 Other than Lego? Transformers. Robots in disguise. I spent many hours staring at the Book of Dreams (Argos catalogue) selecting my next Christmas pressie.
17. What do the last five words of the last text sent to you say: 
 ‘…getting now! No executive search’.
18. Are you scared of anything:  
Not so much heights, but falling from heights. This includes jumping out of a plane (something I have no plans for), free falling would be pretty much the worst experience possible regardless of whether there is a parachute strapped to my back (okay, I concede it would be marginally worse without). Those videos of people unofficially climbing really tall buildings and hanging from the top with one arm, my feet have started a mini waterfall just typing this.
19. If you didn’t run what other sport would you like to have done:
I’m not super sporty. Maybe something involving water… perhaps in a canoe, though I’m not sure what sport that is. Or archery, that could be fun. 
20. What was the last book you read:
A History of the World in 10½ Chapters, Julian Barnes. I’m only partly through it and looking forward to getting to the good bit.