In short: Just amazing! Can we do it all again this weekend please? In full: Brilliant organisation and excellent involvement of the local community with the WI cooking supper, breakfast, cakes and endless bacon rolls and cups of tea.
Stunning scenery, quirky signage, a few hills, great company and fabulous bling. What more could you want from a race? Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: A tough marathon with fantastic scenery In full: With an ascent of some 1300 m this is not an easy marathon. It snakes and loops, virtually entirely off road, around & above the picture-postcard village of Sydling St Nicholas. The views from the tops of the hills are breath-taking. The level of support was exceptional for a trail run: water stations every 3-4 miles, and every other one with a variety of foods (including water melon!). Even though the route is deep in the countryside, there were plenty of marshals and supportive locals at various points all along the run, making it suitable for marathon novices in spite of its toughness. The route was mostly over good paths, with occasional squelchy muddy sections and one stretch with flinty lengths. The atmosphere was fantastic - super-friendly, welcoming and relaxed. The idiosyncratic (perverse?) humour that is the hallmark of WSR was often in evidence, adding to the informality of the event. I ran the GHM last year, and will be back next year. It's that sort of race! Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Stunning, great goody bag, brilliant atmosphere In full: Stunning event and brilliant atmosphere... clean toilets, great goody bag, beer, cakes, massage, what a way to spend the day! Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Magnificant views, endless hills! In full: Superbly organised; the marshalls were tremendous - this is a great event - but best to do a few extra hill reps in advance... Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Fantastic first time event! In full: Thank you to BMHAC and the army of volunteers/marshalls on the day. The route was challenging but spectacular and the traffic management was the best I've seen in a long time. Marshalls were superb and encouraging, offering treats at aid stations to keep us going. What a race and who can argue with a medal, engraved glass AND free pint at the end of a marathon?! Fingers crossed that this is a permanent feature on the calendar. Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: From the very beginning to leaving the field at the end such a brilliant time In full: A bit apprehensive at the start, but so friendly everyone was helpful. I have never seen a queue for a stile so orderly and patient. excellent care by everyone along the way , very well organised and cannotwait for nextyear.
In short: Legendary race, not for the faint hearted. In full: 5th Picnic Marathon completed. Thanks Dr Rob and ure fab marshals. Top team, top race and top day. See you in 2018 for Number 6. Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Good Race, but could've been so much more In full: Lets be clear, this race includes a small part of Hadrian's Wall, certainly far less than the advertising would have you believe. I hate to be down about the event, but it gave me expectations that it did not deliver on.
Roads, for one. There were lots of them, too many. There was more than one stretch on a very busy road, which as several large lorries past by, made me feel very uneasy. Despite the briefing being clear that people should run on the same side as the markers. They persisted to run on the right into oncoming traffic, even on blind bends. An extremely dangerous endeavour and I saw more than one near miss as a result. There was no fruit, whatsoever, other than the odd banana. Added to that far too many sweets. They refused to fill water bottles at water stops (oddly named checkpoints, when they did not checking). Food was good, but unfortunately seemed to be themed. Thus for me I ate at the first and last Pit Stop and couldn't stomach the stuff at the rest, where as some I ran with for a while had the opposite problem. If they'd have had it all (in less quantity) at each stop, it would've been better for everyone. Called 'The Wall' I think in total we saw about 5-10 miles of it, which out of 69 miles seems a little light. Mileage marking was thin on the ground, what there was woefully inaccurate. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but it merely succeed in angering people.
All this said organisation was pretty sound otherwise. Although my bags were in 2 different places in the room at the end. Marshals were exceedingly friendly, helpful and encouraging.
The T-shirt is fantastic, the medals ok. The feeling of achievement - priceless.
I doubt I will do this again, although I know there are plenty that do. It's a race worth doing, just perhaps don't make it your dream event. Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Fast course, by the sea In full: Really flat course, showing off some of the best of the city. Really lovely running the second half right on the prom. Great support from the locals and an abundance of marshals. Slightly annoying queue at the end for the goody bag. But finishing in the city centre, gives so many pub options!! Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Rural racing at it's best - in fact any racing at it's best In full: I have done many White Star Events in the past, but not this one. I think they are all fantastic, but some of the routes tend to link with races I have done before. So I turned up to Giants Head, with a little bit of scepticism. That was quickly blown away. This race is an absolute jewel. If you haven't done a White Star event - you must do one. Perhaps leave this one until last, because nothing will ever compare again.
Set in a beautiful Dorset village, you feel so welcome from the outset. It feels like all your family and friends have turned up for a party. As you head out, that feeling rarely, if ever changes. The challenging hilly route drifts by with stunning views and friendly smiling faces and wonderful regular aid stations with plenty to keep you perky.
I could go on and on and on, but you really need to find out for yourself. Even a heavy but brief rain shower couldn't wash away peoples joyous spirits.
Come the end and you're hand an awesome medal and fab T-shirt. The queue for the worlds biggest ice cream.
One word of warning however, don't leave home without insect repellent. Even the horseflies are friendly....too bloody friendly! Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Another fantastic WSR event In full: Beautiful course (a tad undulating, but at least you get to take in the views when you walk), hugely friendly bunch of like-minded lunatics taking part and fantastic marshalls and food/water stations, plus a bonus mile for your marathon money - what more could you want! Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Challenging well-organised trail run but not too brutal In full: This is a great even. Decent parking and facilities. Takes you on a nice trail run around Butser Hill. Quite a few hills but nothing to wipe you out. Friendly event and definitely worth the trip. I would recommend it. Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Fantastic event In full: First time I have run this but will definitely be back. Start location good and I had no problems parking. Easy number collection. The 10 mile run is starts going through some very nice areas of Thames Ditton on the road and then through some tracks in woodland before passing back near the start, then you head off towards Kingston along the Thames. Returning back you pass Hampton Court Palace. Was a very scenic run. Flat aside from the Thames Bridges this could be very fast. Great medal at end. All in all, a great 10-miler in a great location with excellent marshaling. Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: A lovely race In full: If you like little local races then this is for you. If you like excellent value (entry fee £8 with good on-site parking, a medal, a banana, a meusli bar, cake and a free beer at the end) then this is for you. Oh and there was also extra value as the course is in fact around 10.5K. If you like friendly marshals and an almost traffic free course with stunning views then this is for you. And if you like hills then you'll love this one. To say that the course is undulating is a bit of an understatement. My split times varied from 7:58 to 4:33 with pretty much the same effort all the way so you get the idea. And that gave even better value as I had 15 minutes more running time than at Eastleigh.
This is definitely one to add to your must do list Date of review: June 28, 2016