In short: This is not a run for runners, beginners or otherwise. In full: On the plus side - great scenery, beautiful grounds. However - if Wellington School is to advertise this as a race /fun run on Runners World they need to understand the basic expectations of the average runner. In most cases, one of these expectations, and arguably the most essential would be an official time. This would appear not to be the case. I understand that the ethos of the school as far as this event is concerned is about participation, but if outsiders are invited to pay their £25 then the school needs to understand that timing is necessary if they wish to increase entrant numbers in this way. The start was utterly chaotic to the extent that health and safety issues were ignored. the majority of participants appeared to be Wellington students. That's fine. But if we are all runnind headlong towards obstacles that are invisible if a crowd is in front of you, and that only those familiar with grounds can know about, please take responsibility for this. A temporary fence was knocked over seconds after the start and it was not visible from the start line. There were no audible announcements not was there a klaxon at race start.
There were a number of trip hazards that were not signed on the course. Markers in the ground were more of a trip hazard than a warning.
If Wellington cares about making this accessible and attractive to participants who are not from the school then they could be advised to consult a professional race organiser for some tips. Or at the very least decrease expectations on the Runners Worls website. A fun run does not equate offering a run route with no timing and zero health and safety considerations. Why is it on the Runners World website? Also, there was a 5km available, for £25, but no medal was available for this distance. Please do not advertise this race again unless you intend to make some changes. Date of review: September 11, 2016
In short: Mad as a box of frogs with some decent running thrown in In full: White star events never fail to deliver both in terms of atmosphere and the course set. The East Farm course is at the easier end of the white star runs with only one short steep hill and everything else very runnable - to compensate for this they made the event 12 hours long! I ran solo but you could be in a team of up to 4. The Dorset is magnificent and this race was a great excuse to explore a new part of the beautiful countryside. Brilliant atmosphere between the runners, from the marshals at the lovestation, and the crowds around the transition zone were awesome. One of the most supportive races that I've done with it really being welcoming to the fast club runners right through to the plodders at the back. The 'jacuzzi' at the end, all day hog roast, campsite just a 30 second stroll from the finish line made this the perfect run-cation. Magnificent medal and a rubber Chicken were really just the icing on the cake! Date of review: September 10, 2016
In short: The best 12 hour endurance race I have done ! In full: The course picked up the best bits of White Star Races. A tough, trail course that made you work hard, some great views, the Lovestation and the best atmosphere of any race. The runners supported each other and the facilities laid on were magnificent. The tent at the start area including a bar, and a DJ were brilliant. Runners grouped together, chatted, had great fun and cheered people as they crossed the line.If you ever considered a 12 hour race as solo, pair or team, make sure you do this one. And for extra value go buy the fancy dress costume. Any race that uses a squeaky chicken as a baton has to be amazing, and this one was !! Date of review: September 10, 2016
In short: Frolic Full of Fun In full: Where do I start.. 8am till 8pm full of fun! Like the course I had my own highs & lows but boy did I enjoy myself, people are usually put off by multiple lap courses but there was so much to distract you on each lap that kept you going on & on without a chance of boredom. As a solo runner I was entertained all day by pair, triple & teams of 4 in fancy dress wearing smiles from ear to ear & squeezing their rubber chicken.
Incredible amount of Smiles for Miles value! The WSR Team never disappoint & the team manning the Love station all day we're full of energy & enthusiasm that made you leave with a spring in your step, flat coke in your stomach & Jaffa cakes in hand.
Great introduction to white star running events for all beginners, really looking forward to next year's event. Date of review: September 10, 2016
In short: A Great Liitle Race In full: Gives a wonderful warm feeling raising money for the community whilst running with abilities of all kinds. Some young children en route holding signs saying 'thank you for running for our school' might let you know what a mutually beneficial, low key, very friendly event this is. Quite possibly one of my fav races - certainly encourages a feel good feeling. Date of review: September 10, 2016
In short: Superb WSR organisation, beautiful well-marked route, plentiful aid stations, perfect yet again!! In full: The community feel of the White Star events keeps me returning to them time after time – friendly volunteers, happy fellow runners and this time I particularly noticed something at the start of the race. There was a chorus of “thank you, Andy” as all the runners passed Andy Palmer, Race Director. I run 30+ events every year and you don't often hear runners personally and spontaneously thank the RD at race start. White Star have built up a real connection with their runners; all are welcomed and of course, everyone loves the fabulous medals!
I approached the start line of the Ox Ultramarathon with slight trepidation: I hadn't done enough long distance training and, rather worryingly, my trail shoes decided to fall apart a few weeks back and I was forced to wear road shoes. The previous couple of days had seen a deluge of rain deposit itself firmly onto the Wiltshire countryside, surely turning the Ox and Shaftesbury Droves into quagmires! The first ten miles consisted of a loop taking us back to the Rotherley Valley and Rushmore Estate (different to last year) before we then went on to the Ox Drove. The route is very pretty with wild garlic in full flower; through lots of woodland, through fields, along stony bridleways and this year, some very muddy sections along the Ox Drove and Shaftesbury Drove. At Mile 15, we had a heavy rain shower for twenty minutes and suddenly the going was very slow with ankle deep mud in places and I waded through puddles halfway to my knees, but it all adds to the fun! At Mile 20, the inevitable happened; I slipped in a puddle, fell and got covered in mud! Luckily, no damage was done so I could continue and with one of the many aid stations just around the corner I was able to wash some of the mud off my hands and get going …. we were now well over half way!! Once we were up onto the Shaftesbury Drove and heading back to Rushmore, I knew I had cracked it and delighted in telling anyone who would listen about the remaining miles to the finish line (“two big hills, but you'll love them!!”). Then, much to my joy, a runner admitted to having no idea where he was …. now I had a great opportunity to distract my mind from the stresses of running as I could tell him exactly where he was! “ We're heading west towards Shaftesbury, Tisbury is three miles to the north with the woods at Fonthill just behind, a bit further to the left is Wardour Woods, the hill we've just passed with the trees on top is Buxbury, that pointy thing to the northeast is the TV mast at Sutton Mandeville, we're running parallel with the Ox Drove which is to the south, in a couple of miles at Mile 29/30 we will turn off the Shaftesbury Drove & head southwest to Berwick St John ...” Sure enough, after I had bored the poor man stupid, there it was at last - The Lovestation!! Resplendent with marshals in fancy dress checking that the runners were OK to continue, and with all kinds of savoury and sweet food. I downed a cup of cider which dulled my aching legs considerably then I felt ready to tackle the tricky descent (in road shoes!) into Berwick. After traversing the smelliest bridleway in the south (and, we passed the culprits in the form of some cattle in a shed), there was a short road section before we tackled the famed Winklebury Hill, the steepest on the entire route, but the prettiest – wooded, deeply cut and carpeted in wild garlic. I was convinced it would take me half an hour to get to the top, so I decided to time myself – I was surprised it only took me thirteen minutes. Now we only had a couple of miles to go; most of which was a fabulous descent into the Rotherley Valley. Even the grassy wall of a hill at Mile 34 didn't faze me this time; I almost skipped up it (that's the picture I have in my head, anyway!) along with the rest of the uphill to the finish line. After nearly eight hours, I had conquered the extra-muddy Ox Ultramarathon 2016, in road shoes !! Date of review: September 9, 2016
In short: Fabulous race - brilliant organisation In full: Wonderful race. Absolutely love it. Makes the runner feel special! It's North Dorset so it's not totally flat - it has some hills but nothing too tough and they make it more interesting. Good route, not traffic free but incredibly quiet roads. Nice flat finish along an old railway line (although it does go on forever). So great I have done it every years and chose it as my 100th marathon. Date of review: September 9, 2016
In short: Super race down at MediaCityUK In full: Lovely race, great as you start and finish in the center of Media City. The route takes you over the water twice, passes close by MUFC and Corrie studios. Well organised and a bargain £15 when booked early. Date of review: September 9, 2016
In short: River, rain, friends and fun In full: This was a lovely marathon along The Thames in Reading, Berkshire, even though it rained throughout. As a lapped marathon you aren't on your own for too long which makes it very friendly regardless of where you are, and for me that's usually at the back or near enough. There are runners of all abilities, but it wasn't elitist which was great.
The aid station had lots of goodies to keep you going and you went past it twice on each lap, what could be better!
The organisation by Paul Ali and his volunteers was perfect making it a stress free registration and start to the marathon. They were all really encouraging during the marathon and made sure that you were ok.
Would I run it again, for sure. Even in the rain, this was still a really good way to spend an evening!
In short: Scenic, well organised, great atmosphere In full: This was a superbly organised race following a scenic route along the South East's finest beaches and bays. The organisation was superb; everything that can be irritating about larger events was no issue. Ample parking, no queues for toilets, efficient bag drops and bottles of water given out en route (no choking from a paper cup!). The marshalls were very friendly and supportive. Very highly recommended. Date of review: September 7, 2016