In short: MUST go back In full: I will definitely be doing this race again. It was a huge achievement finishing it, but due to a marshalling error I didn't quite complete the distance. The location, scenery and atmosphere were all fantastic. Date of review: July 21, 2016
In short: left me broken In full: Oh my. Words cannot convey this race. But I'll try.
The pre race info was fab. I found the race start easily (not my forte !) and parking was next to the start which was fabulous. There was no atmosphere at all at the start village. No promised music. No promised drinks. It was very lacklustre. The pre race briefing was excellent. The RD ran the first mile with us all which was a nice touch. For me personally the start was where it went wrong - you start at the bottom of a hill. It was a warning for the rest of the race which was quite frankly hills upon hills. The overall ascent is around 1000 metres. The pathways are rocky flint and chalk which is painful underfoot. I saw a lot of runners falling over. A dog had cut open his feet on the terrain. I developed blisters very early on which made the rest of the route incredibly hard. But the checkpoints were great. The marshalls were spot on. Even at the wee hours of the morning. I can't find my own car some mornings but I found the navigational finger posts more than enough to self navigate through the route. So you don't need to be Bear Grylls to do this. Also try and buddy up with someone. Running through the woods at 2am on your own is beyond terrifying.
Bad points -
Hills Terrain Poor start Very spooky running through woods on your own
Good points -
Good information given before the race Excellent marshalls Fabulous checkpoint No cut off time. The last runner took 10 hrs and they still got a time, medal, T-shirt and food. Not many races that do that.
Would I do it again? Absolutely not. I cried for 24 hours afterwards and I may never walk the same again !
Would I recommend it? Strangely yes. Its an experience and memories are made. The team were lovely. It welcomes club and non club runners. Its inclusive. And the medal was amazing. Date of review: July 21, 2016
In short: Amazing, fabulous, brilliant! In full: Organization amazing, location fabulous, races blooming hard but well worth it. Prizes and bling out of this world...do it do it do it! Date of review: July 20, 2016
In short: Another corker of a marathon weekend from WSR In full: It broke me but I loved it. I could blame the ridiculous heat and humidity. Or maybe a few too many the night before (they do the party the night BEFORE the marathon). But the route was glorious. Not as hilly as other WSR events but a long long way from flat. Friendly as always, with the usual excellent atmosphere and humour. Gutted this is my final WSR event of the year. Will be back for sure... Date of review: July 20, 2016
In short: Veni, Vidi, Vici, Vino In full: We came, we saw, we conquered, we have a little drinkie... Thanks to Andy, Badger and all at WSR for a great race again. Tough, hot, water, lovestation, sausages, scotch eggs, cake, cider, vodka, some running, some walking, dressing up, camping, Roman baths, showers, bar, food, medal, goodie bag, finish, packup, take longer to get home than it did to do the marathon. Thanks and see you next year. Date of review: July 20, 2016
In short: The UKs most popular Ultra, easy to see why, I'll be back In full: Aside from a couple of bottlenecks in the first 10k, an uplifting, scenic and well-organised ultra. Ideal for first-timers with 50k, 100k over 2 days or 100k non-stop options. Well-stocked and frequent pitstops with a great atmosphere and cameraderie. Will only get better in years to come. Only gripe is the start and finish logistics, but that's the Ridgeway for you. Sore feet but big smile :) Date of review: July 19, 2016
In short: The conga, a Roman bath, real ale and men in skirts! In full: My 1st trail marathon, and what a corker! Andy really knows how to look after his runners. The marshalls/volunteers where fantastic, the weather made this quite brutal but we had Laird Badger at an extra aid station making sure no one overheated. The Roman bath was a godsend for my blistered feet! Can't wait for the bad Cow. If you haven't done a long distance race, sign up for a White Star running event, guarantee you'll enjoy it : ) Date of review: July 19, 2016
In short: A fantastic party atmosphere with stunning scenery and epic race medals In full: I ran the Invader half last year, and despite falling around mile 8 and breaking my ribs, thoroughly enjoyed myself so much that I vowed I would return and run this years as my first marathon.
I've run a number of WSR races now and have thoroughly enjoyed everyone. Plenty of aid stations & marshal support en route, incredible scenery, race medals, post run entertainment and wonderful costumes from those dressing up just add to the overall experience, so I had a good idea what to expect.
The weather for this years event has been described by many as brutal, due to the heat and humidity as summer decided to make an appearance for the first time. It would be fair to say the weather and the course were challenging, but then I didn't go into this not having prepared and having a good idea what to expect, but still found it challenging. WSR provided further impromptu water stops due to the conditions, such is their flexibility which were very welcome by many.
I've yet to come across any other race organiser who puts so much care into their events to the point where it really does feel like a giant family party atmosphere all weekend.
If you're considering a WSR race, don't delay, book today, as places sell out fast for good reason! Date of review: July 19, 2016
In short: Wow! What a fantastic trail marathon In full: I absolutely loved this race. Super friendly atmosphere. Excellent marshalling and plenty of aid stations with food water and the odd cider or 3. The route was challenging in places, and the scenery was beautiful. Anybody thinking of doing a WSR race, bite the bullet and do it. You WILL NOT regret it!! Date of review: July 19, 2016
In short: Another fantastic race from White Star Running! In full: If you've never run a WSR race, then you should! Brilliant events. The Dorset Invader was no exception...you get to camp, be fed and watered, run round beautiful countryside and be looked after at fab drink/food stations by lovely marshals who may or may not be dressed up! The atmosphere is great, everyone is so friendly and Andy and Kevin (organisers) are always around and up for a laugh. But this is no fun run! The course is all trail, hilly and hard.Lots of running round the edge of crop fields and along narrow, uneven paths. All WSR events are challenging, you certainly know that you've run one :-) Highly recommended. Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: The best out there by far In full: I did my 100th marathon at this excellent weekend with half thrown in as well. Just so well done with its own swimming pool, excellent finishers area and cider. The race director even booked the sun. Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Mostly flat In full: A very enjoyable and friendly race over mostly dead flat trails and New Forest roads, dull and drizzly to start but the sun was coming out towards the end. Great Marshalls and friendly runners. You can tell it is run by runners rather than an event company as it seems basic (but equally well organised). Great value for money race and a good first 10 mile race given the flatness and changing scenery. Nice horsebrass for the finishers but like someone said last year ,a piece of ribbon, even if it is only plain (The race details are cast into the horsebrass) would be a nice touch. Great race - Thanks Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Fantastic trail marathon In full: White Star Running really know how to make a trail marathon into a fantastic event for all types of runner. It doesn't matter whether you are competitive or in full fancy dress they are just spot on. Lots of fancy dress, both marshals and runners, lots of food and drink at aid stations including home made gluten free, vegan etc. As it was very hot and humid the organisers laid on some extra water stops so you were never far from a top up. Add to that the odd centurion, chariot, plenty of togas, stunning countryside, butterflies and birdsong - what more could a runner/jogger/shuffler want? Can't wait for the next one! Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Very hard 10k due to hills and off-road - but that was all part of the fun In full: Great and tough off-road (75%) event. Very relaxed with fun family-focused atmosphere. All the route marking worked + thanks to friendly marshals. Plenty of variety of terrain - usually going up or down! One for the diary each year. Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Brilliantly-organised race In full: This is one of my favourite marathons. The organisation (as with all White Star Running events) is second to none, and the aid stations take account of everyone's needs and tastes, with plenty of variety. The marshalls are very friendly and supportive, and the Roman theme makes it even better, especially having centurion on horseback to start the race. Absoluately brilliant despite the heat and the undulations. Date of review: July 18, 2016