In short: WHITE STAR RUNNING DOES IT AGAIN In full: The Team at WSR just goes from strength to strength. Not just a brilliantly organised run, but beautiful scenery and lovely quirky touches ( naked farme in bath/lady farmer setting off the race with a hunting horn) Well stocked aid and water stations, marshalls at road crossings, on course first aid ( medics in land rovers) super friendly volunteers and just smiles all round. At the end there's free massages, an ice cream van selling ice creams the size of Dorset, burger stall. Then, when you think it's all over, along come the amazing villagers, with mountains of chili and rice and then crumble for pudding. For such a small cost it isn;t even worth mentioning! After you have run the marathon, stuffed youself with delicious food, you then have a barn dance...... It isn;t just a run, it is a community event, the farmer who gives his field over to parking/camping also serves beer at the bar! One of the toughest runs you'll do - but also one of ( if not) the best! If Carlsberg made marathons......
In short: WSR thank-you for yet another top notch race. In full: Ran the 10k last year and loved it so stepped up to the marathon this year. Very challenging race with hill, after hill but then so rewarding. On the accents I walked and got chatting to loads of great people. It was so friendly. The marshals are the best and the aid stations were well stocked and had anything you could want. water melon was just geneous. After finishing we chilled out on the green, ate a massive ice cream and cheered fellow runners in. WSR don't change anything as you have this race perfect. Thank you very much.. Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: One of the best organised and most fun races I've ever done. In full: Great race, great atmosphere and a real "festival feel" to it. All the runners were really friendly before, during and after the race. Impeccably organised and everyone had a smile on their face despite the tough course. Definitely one to do again. My only issue was that the cider wasn't ready at the love station when I got there.
Best race of the year so far. Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: Excellent race again this year In full: I do love this race. Some say it isn't that fast; it's not as fast as some, but it's pretty fast. Always a great tech t-shirt and a reasonable goody-bag for the price (Mars bar, cereal bar, lucozade). And spot prizes - I got one of them!! Friendly marshals and locals (especially the ones making music in the first mile). Usually very hot, but today it wasn't! I did bump into a low post at 5k, which hurt a little…some sharp little twists etc. But overall, a great race. Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: fantastic race in beautiful sceneryand a feelgood atmosphere - race of the year material In full: This is not just a great race but a great weekend for both runners and spectators. The scenery is memorable (and so are the hills),the friendly atmosphere means everyone feels supported and the organisation is faultless, including well-stocked aid stations - I didn't know the real purpose of water melon until I tried some after running most of the way round a marathon.And to cap it all, the race was won by a clubmate from Maiden Newton Runners, Paul Rose. Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: Challenging but brilliant event, excellently organised. In full: An event centred around the village of Sydling St Nicholas. Hilly with fantastic views. Great tech t-shirt and solid finishers medal. The organisation was excellent with great camping, toilets, showers, free massage, locally cooked food, bar with local beer, hog roast, barn dancing, even a naked farmer in a bathtub! Oh and the ice-creams were legendary. Fantastic value for money. Can't wait for 2016. Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: Glorious scenery, challenging hills, lovely atmosphere. In full: My favourite race of the year so far. Scenery was breathtaking, hills were hard, but with enough flat sections in-between to recover. Last very steep downhill section was slightly scarey with rough track, but I had fun flying down it all the same. Highly recommend - will be back again next year! Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: A tough must do trail race...spectacular, In full: Great race, hilly, great views, technical trails.....a superb day! There was a horse starting the race, a naked farmer and even a marriage proposal during the race brief. Very friendly atmosphere, fantastic marshals and well organised. Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: Brilliant race, challenging hills, great support, great marshalling - a definite must do. In full: I'm a local, but the scenery at the top of the gruesome hills was definitely worth it. Such a great atmosphere, the organisation was great, the marshals / water / aid stations were brilliant. All levels of runners, no elitism at all. The hills were relentless, but if you're not hoping for a PB its a good excuse for a walk and a chat with your fellow runners. Andy and the White Star team pulled another great race out the bag. Basically, put this one on your 2016 list. Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: Another fab event from WSR In full: Another excellent race from WSR. If you want fantastic views, great organisation, lovely atmosphere, a medal which is the size and weight of a small family car, t-shirts brighter than the sun and ice creams bigger than a 3 course meal then this is the race for u... Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: Hell is made of hills! In full: Beginners need to be aware of the hills in this, as I think quite a few people may find it very difficult as a first race. I would say four notable hills not just a mild incline, where two of them are manageable for all, one for most and one totally ridiculous. Heartbreak hill at 11.5 miles is unbelievable.
Aside from this the only other real things that could be improved would be the lining up of people and taking in more of the surrounding countryside (if possible) as part of the route.
When lining up for the horn, most people are trying to get to the front because of the time-based medals, as it is based on gun time not chip time. Luckily I wasn't one of the few people who received a bronze medal based on their gun time, but would have received silver if based on chip time. It would have really annoyed me! The route goes through all of the different estates and townships of Stoke which in parts are nice, but mostly not nice to look at, so going out in the countryside, like Stafford half marathon does, would be welcomed by most, I would imagine.
These are only minor things to help improve a decent race. There was a good amount of people for the course - not squashed like with some of the larger field races. The organisation was good and no real issues.
The major issue, I found, was with water stations, as I did not see/there was no warning of it coming up, so people had to cut each other up. Also, only 3 are advertised, which for a potentially warm June HM is a bit silly. Water stations did not seem to be where they were stated to be. This made it difficult to gauge when to pick up a drink and when not to.
Lovely supporting and cheering locals were out in force and made the run more interesting. They were giving out sweets and drinks as well.
Parking and facilities were easy to find, although the attendant in the shopping centre toilet was moaning about all these runners using the toilets continuously which I thought was unfair. People weren't causing hassle or nuisance to him and he made himself look like a miserable jobsworth.
The goody bag was brilliant - one of the best I have had, receiving a t-shirt, fancy time-based medal, commemorative plate and some food and drink. Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: beautiful and brutal.well worthy of all the accolades! In full: After doing the syding 10k last year which was tough for a 10k i had to step up and do the number 1 uk marathon this year.the profile shows 10 mountainous hills and this didnt dissapoint.not a fan of hills but a huge fan of WSR races and the organisation is top notch and great value.lovely marshalls and lots of water stops and feed stations in the lovely dorset countryside.village feel to a race which attracts runners of all abilities.should be on everyones bucket list and to get a buff,tech tshirt and a very unique and rude naked giant medal ticks all the boxs.next year the willy spins on the medal i hear!looking forward to 2016!keep up the good work Andy and the team Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: Fantastic challenging run with glorious views! In full: The hills were relentless, but the views were gorgeous. The aid stations were plenty stocked with friendly marshals. Such a lovely relaxed atmosphere of all the finishers chilling on the grass of the beautiful village in the sun by the finish, clapping the latest finishers in. Great medal, top and buff. Camping was close by and showers warm. Barn dance was a laugh in the evening. A definite race to do, fantastic weekend, and I'll definitely be back! Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: The best organised event - EVER In full: They have thought of everything at this event - phased starts so phased registration / plenty of toilets / pre race free water /organised pre race warm ups / pre race briefings / good well signed course with both kilometre & mileage markers / great event village with things to occupy supporters with families/ quality food & drink available/ great good bag with medal - T shirt etc etc oh and the race, great course which is testing but scenic. I cannot prior this enough Date of review: June 28, 2015
In short: good midweek race In full: first time doing this event lots of changes of directon plenty of enthusiastic marshalls nice finish on the grass & a nice mug well worth doing Date of review: June 27, 2015