In short: Brilliant! In full: This race was everything I expected. I'm a slow runner so had plenty of time to appreciate the scenery. The organisation was really good and everyone was friendly. I hope to be able to do this race next year. Date of review: July 25, 2015
In short: What a marathon In full: My second London marathon and another pb I was held up a little in the first 3 miles but I think it did me a favour as I didn't go off to fast. Expo was brilliant,organization was fantastic,marshalls brilliant, and the support was exceptional will get and get in again Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: The race that has everything In full: A start on the beach at Beadnell....running along the glorious Northumberland beaches....skirting historic Dunstanburgh castle....passing through lovely Newton and Craster....and finishing through rock pools to the beach at Alnmouth. A very special event indeed. Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: worth the exta lactate and a dip in the sea In full: only my second shot at this glorious run the best value, most enjoyable event the North East can offer for runners of every calibre Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: Yet another iconic event from White Star Running; inspired, brilliant in every way, eleven out of ten! In full: This was a truly exceptional event; flawless, seemingly effortless organisation, and full of the typical White Star Running touches which make their events so special - the start/finish arch made out of straw bales decorated with flags; the hilarious signs on the route - “Blessed Are The Cheesemakers”, “Hurry Up, FFS”, in a section of woodland, “Danger, Angry Badgers”, “You Are Paying For This, LOL”, “Cakes Ahead” and a couple of my favourites, “Please Don't Sweat Over The Flora & Fauna” and at the Start Line, “At My Signal, Unleash Hell”; … happy, friendly runners; encouraging volunteers; the excellent race start (see below); glorious & varied countryside on the route; I could go on & on, … OK I will; … the huge & magnificent medal; cider at the Lovestation; Roman baths at the finish; hog roast; a jar of East Farm’s strawberry jam as part of the goody bag; the Roman fancy-dress (see below); a sense of history; lots of pre-race info in social media; a more than reasonable entry fee and a great atmosphere throughout ….
This event had a Roman theme due to the Roman Second Legion, under the command of Vespasian, setting up their camp in the area in 44AD. A good number of runners turned up in Roman fancy dress, as did a lot of the volunteers; centurions, soldiers, Roman goddesses, there were togas a-plenty & RD, Andy Palmer was resplendent, dressed as a Roman Emperor (Andy, you looked lovely!!). All these costumes kept me thoroughly entertained throughout the race as I tried to catch up with some Roman soldiers as we ran through fields of barley and I did in the end get a couple of great Gladiator pictures of them as they obligingly ran their fingers through the crop!
The start of the race was utterly brilliant; we walked up to the top of the hill to the start line and after the gun went, were led down the hill by an armoured Roman gladiator, on horseback. I think Hell was triumphantly unleashed :- the horse with gladiator galloped down the hill & all the runners charged down after him – it must have been an amazing sight for the spectators.
For this event, the Lovestation was renamed “Aphrodite's Temple” managed by the Goddess Aphrodite herself, in full costume and all the other Lovestation volunteers were also in Roman costume. It had all the usual White Star Running fare; from strawberries & watermelon to cakes, biscuits, scotch eggs, jelly beans, crisps and, of course, water, squash, coke and cider. This time, the marathoners visited this twice, once quite early on, at about Mile 7, then again at Mile 21 and what a welcome sight it was the second time around! Nearly at Mile 26, we ran around a field of barley & could hear the cheering at the finish line, the end of this superb race was nearly upon us. I caught back up with the Isle Of Wight Road Runner at the top of the last hill, then it was through some woodland and past a man nearly at the end of the half marathon wearing authentic Roman costume, armour and carrying a huge shield. A volunteer rang a bell to signal our approach to the finish line, then it was a great downhill finish towards the straw bale arch where I received the biggest marathon medal, ever. Marathon running surely can't get any better than this ?!!!! Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: A celebration of marathon running …. no wonder this event was voted Best Marathon in the UK for 2014! In full: This year was my second Giant's Head Marathon and I had just as much fun at this event as I did the previous year. The race was started by the farmer's wife again, this time she was on horseback and at the sound of her hunting horn, we were off! We were soon out of the village of Sydling St Nicholas and after about two miles, and in the middle of nowhere, we could hear a bell ringing. And, there he was again, the naked farmer in his bathtub, drinking beer! There are about ten large ascents on the route, but therefore ten exhilarating descents & this is partly what makes the GHM so excellent, as well as the stunning views over the Dorset countryside from the tops and the friendliness of the other runners. The descent around the Mile 17 mark is one of the longest, about two miles and seems to go on forever. This year there were swathes of foxgloves in full flower and I spotted at least two different species of orchid. Excellent support again from the marshals, tables at the aid stations groaning with all kinds of different food and drink; watermelon, cakes, biscuits, peanuts, crisps, etc., then at the Lovestation at Mile 21 there was cider and, as the race briefing included a proposal of marriage by one of the runners, pink champagne! I knocked back a cup of cider and a shot of the champagne, then it was time to get a move on to the finish line as I had stopped to take over 100 photos on my way around the route this time. Luckily, the previously untried consumption of alcohol mid-race did not have an adverse effect on me, quite the opposite in fact as I found myself almost skipping down the last descent to the finish line on the village green where I was greeted by the iconic GHM medal, t-shirt and cheers from the faster finishers and spectators, who didn't seem to want to leave!
White Star Running have made this a “must-do” event for every serial marathoner and long may it continue. Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: Fantastic Event. You'll return year after year! In full: Great day out. Great coast line. Great history. Great smell of kippers. Great organising. Great souvenir running top and much more. This is the benchmark for all other races. Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: Fantastic! In full: Brilliant race in a beautiful part of the country. Very friendly, very well organised and very reasonably prices. And to top it all off a fantastic t-shirt/top at the end. Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: Fabulous organisation but with a great relaxed atmosphere. Loved it!!! In full: My first long race back after a long lay off after a near collision with a car whilst out running. Needed a confidence boost, so the relaxing setting in Dorset with these lovely people was perfect. Great course although rather overgrown in places, but added to the challenge. Perfect launch pad for me back into competitive running. Big thumbs up!! Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: White Star Running WOW!! In full: What an event. I couldn't have picked a better event to run my 100th marathon. White star running events are for having a great time not doing a great time and they certainly make sure everyone does. All runners fast or slow, and those of us in the middle, are treated with equal respect. The course was hilly but not as tough as some of their other events, certainly runnable if you don't get too distracted by the amazing aid stations. Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: The perfect intro to ultras In full: When it comes to ultras, XNRG have to be the go to people. The support from their team is unbeatable. You immediately feel part of a family. Well stocked aid stations and a well marked course make this a really accessible event to step up from the marathon. Date of review: July 23, 2015
In short: If Carlsberg did races In full: White Star Running have done it again. The Roman theme really added to the fantastic atmosphere. Loved the Dorset apple cake at the finish. Great goody back and a medal that you could get arrested for carrying a dangerous weapon! Other Race Directors, take note, this is how you do it. Date of review: July 23, 2015
In short: Challenging off road race. Great Cakes, BBQ and a Bar. What more could you want?!!?! In full: A Great little race. A Tough first half which is mostly uphill...A bar and plenty of Cakes for after. Nice Memento, Now I have somewhere to hang all my medals. No a PB course though as it's pretty hilly and falls just short of the 10k distance. Date of review: July 23, 2015