Get to know…Phil Gregory

For this week’s member we are joined by the guy who has been picking up PB’s this year like sweets, Phil Gregory. Phil is fairly new to running and definitely new to Brighton having only moved here last June. He is, in his own words, quite competitive and really enjoys the fact that whilst he is clearly never going to be a world class runner, he can always compete against his younger self and against the clock. He’s still not really sure what distance he likes running most but he has a few goals that he’s aiming for – sub 20 minute parkrun (ideally at Preston Park where the hill at the end makes it a bit more of a challenge), sub 43 minute 10k (endurance needs some work) and a sub 3h 30 marathon (but that one’s a very very long way off). So far he’s really enjoying Arena and says “it’s a great atmosphere at the training sessions and it’s definitely helping me nudge towards that parkrun time!”
Name: Phil Gregory
l. When and why did you join Arena:
I joined in January 2018. I’d been running around Brighton and Hove on my own after work for a few months and it was starting to get a bit boring. So I did a bit of a Google and found a few local clubs’ websites. I liked the variety of sessions Arena had so decided to sign up.
2. How long have you been running:
Just under 3 years. I’d always been in to my cycling and didn’t really think about running until I moved to Sweden in 2015 to study a Master’s in Public Health and realised I didn’t have a bike any more. So on a bit of a whim I bought a pair of running trainers and just went for a bit of a jog one day. Since then I’ve been striving to go a little bit faster and a little bit further.
3. Where did you grow up:
The capital of The North, Doncaster. I was, under extreme duress, forcibly removed to Lincolnshire as a nine year old when my parents decided we should move to the countryside, but I’ve done the maths and as I went to uni in Leeds I’ve still spent the greatest proportion of my life in Yorkshire.
4. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go:
It’s tough to choose just one. I’m hoping to go to Sri Lanka this winter – ideally to catch a Test Match in the cricket – so that’s got to be up there. Uruguay and Mexico would be high on my list as well.
5. Apart from running what else do you do with your time:
I work in London so I seem to spend most of my time in the company of Southern Rail, filling out Delay Repay applications for Southern Rail or sitting in the pub with my mates complaining about Southern Rail. And I support Doncaster Rovers, which brings with it its own set of challenges.
6. What would you say to your younger self:
Don’t worry, this Lincolnshire thing will pass.
7. Tell us about something you are proud to have achieved:
Reaching a level of conversational Swedish that could be described as rudimentary.
8. What’s your favourite website:
9. Who is your sporting hero:
I’m not one for heroes, but I’ve got huge admiration for Andy Murray, Mark Cavendish, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Steve Redgrave.
10. What is your favourite album ever:
Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division.
11. Have you ever had or do you have a nickname:
Phil G. Clearly I’ve surrounded myself with creative types.
12. What makes you happy:
Holidays in Cornwall, Snow, The Sea, Stewart Lee’s stand-up and running along Undercliff Walk. I am partial to a scotch egg as well.
13. What was the last thing you bought:
Two Craft running t-shirts and a scotch egg. Not from the same vendor.
14. What’s something you miss the most from childhood:
The ability, and opportunity, to spend much of the year sleeping until early afternoon.
15. What’s something we don’t know about you:
I was Year 7 long jump champion with a PB of 4.01 metres. My performance took me to the area finals, where I recorded 3 no jumps and retired from the sport.
16. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 73, and find line 7 What does it say:
The first identified case in the Kikwit outbreak was a forty-two year old man…taken from David Quammen’s book ‘Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic’. I work in public health and infectious disease is something I’m fascinated by.
17. What is the hardest thing you ever had to do:
Learning Swedish in Sweden, where everyone tries to help you by speaking English at every opportunity.
18. What are your three most used apps:
Strava, National Rail, WhatsApp.
19. What were you like at school:
Punctual – I lived 200 metres away.
20. What’s the last photo you took on your phone:
A picture of the big screen down at Brighton Marina. I’d planned to run to Saltdean and back in the sun, got way too hot and decided to sit in a deck chair and watch a bit of Wimbledon instead.
Our biggest thanks to Phil for his Q&A’s this week and we hope that you feel that you have now got to know Phil a little better. Check back next Wednesday for another set of Q&A’s with our chosen club member.