In short: Tried again but organisers failed again! Rating for 2016 (unavailable) not 2006 In full: Tried this race again after I was convinced by a friend but that was a mistake as I got lost around Darley Park. I used my iphone to load the route map and I luckily found my way again. Overall, nicer scenic route to last year with extra twists but it is not a safe route as an idiot van driver cut across in front of me on a supposedly "traffic free" section. Poor drinks stations again (1 man and a cup!). In summary, I won't make the mistake of being convinced to do it again, sorry. Date of review: October 9, 2016
In short: Great race today at Pettswood, would highly recommend very well organised. Fabulous warm up to get you in the mood. Marshals on the route uplifting and very vocal thank you. Really great event, my first time but will definitely not be my last. Date of review: October 9, 2016
In short: Fantastic friendly atmosphere In full: The fact that the relay baton was a pink and purple chicken gives a clue to the type of event this is. Very reasonably priced camping also on offer, and the aid station ("Love station") provided all sorts of tasty snacks, and alcohol as well as the standard water and squash. Showers as well as toilets on site. Great event! Date of review: October 9, 2016
In short: Cracking race that will hopefully be around for many years In full: I've run a lot of marathons and this is right up there with the best.
Pros: - The organisation is slick: pre-race buses, changing area, baggage and plenty of toilets including toilets right at the start line
- The marshals are some of the friendliest you could wish to meet. Before the race I was wandering around killing time and before I knew it I was picked up by a group of marshals, providing me with directions to the start, advice on how to store my baggage and the detailed low-down on the route I was about to run. You don't get that at too many races
- The course is mildly undulating, which makes for a fast run. I've no idea why people keep saying it's hilly. There are a couple of very short climbs at roughly 13 and 18 miles, but these serve well to wake the legs up. If anything, there could probably be more slopes added to the course to make it a bit more entertaining
- You get to go through the finish line at around 17 miles and that is great. It gives you a right kick up the backside if you're not fully focused and also reminds you that you've only got around 9 miles to go and are almost done
- Great t-shirt and medal and the post-race organisation was really smooth
Cons: - There isn't much in term of camaraderie between the runners. It has a bit of a big city marathon feel about it and personally I like a small village affair where you make a few mates on the way round
- More water stations are needed. There is a really long stretch after about 21 or 22 miles where you don't get another drink until well gone 24 miles and a lot of runners were understandably taking two bottles (and most likely not leaving enough for runners behind them)
I'm not a big fan of running marathons two years in a row, when there's so many other good marathons in the UK, however this one is well worth making a regular feature on my yearly marathon calendar.
In short: I'll be back next year, rain or shine. In full: I ran as part of a four man team. We covered over 100 miles between us. Although a tough course I enjoyed the seventh as much as I did the first. A great all inclusive atmosphere and some serious bling. Recommended. Date of review: October 8, 2016
In short: Excellent race. Friendly and fun In full: Great race to run. Lovestation as in all the WSR races make you feel more than welcome. Even though i ran solo it was good to see lots of runners out on the laps with their rubber chicken in their hands. Definately one I'm going to run again. Will pitch a tent next time so can make the most of what's on offer at the Lovestation Date of review: October 8, 2016
In short: Great race. Gets better every year. Well done Bournemouth In full: Exceptional race. Very well organised, great route, exceptional scenery. Bournemouth is a great venue. Date of review: October 8, 2016
In short: Squeaky Rubber Chickens Rule !!!!!! In full: Four of us had been dancing up and down with anticipation for months – a twelve-hour race with fancy dress, the prospect of a truly huge medal and all kinds of hilarious fun to be had with a squeaky rubber chicken! A team of four of us ran at the East Farm Frolic; three milkmaids and one cow (complete with udder). What brilliant fun; much to our amusement, our cow had his udder tweaked at regular intervals throughout the day!! There was lots of fancy dress on a farmyard theme and after the Race Director had given us a rather amusing demonstration entitled “How to Inflate Your Rubber Chicken” (this was the inspired relay baton to be used by the team runners), the race started promptly at 8:00am. The course was undulating, mainly through fields with a steep but short ascent after half a mile and through some woodland. The very friendly & very supportive Lovestation surpassed itself with a wonderful array of alcoholic beverages; I started off with the Cranberry Vodka, then the Watermelon Vodka, a Buck's Fizz then was forced off the spirits and on to cider on my last lap. I had not run a race in this way before, the alcohol made for an exhilarating descent back to the farm but the trick was definitely to start moving around twenty minutes or so before running to avoid the joints seizing up. The route was nearly four miles and given the long interval between each lap I had no excuse but to run each one as fast as possible (allowing for the alcohol consumption, mid-lap!). There were lots of solo runners as well as teams of two, three or four. By early afternoon, the solo marathoners & half marathoners had finished and the field thinned out a bit, leaving those who were running for the whole twelve hours. At the end, all were rewarded with a well stocked goody bag and another iconic White Star Running medal - nearly rivalling the size of the race number. Brilliant value for money with fabulous support from WSR and the volunteers; some non-marathon runners ended up running a marathon and some marathoners ran an ultra! A thoroughly well recommended event with White Star and East Farm catering for all our needs throughout the day. Date of review: October 8, 2016
In short: Madness and Fun In full: My first relay and couldnt of picked a better one. Great atmosphere and very well organised. I went as a team of 4 to see how many rounds we could do as a team......a few dropped out after a few hours so i was left to go solo. Many were in fancy dress as the theme of farmyard animals and some others were running to get a PB or just to see how many miles they could do. Everyone was very supportive and praised everyone achievement. If its your first relay...give this one a go, you wont regret it and youll have a blast. If you have done them before this would be a great race to do to get new PB.
Bring the family and camp over. There is an additional fun run the following day with another chance to earn yourself a fantastic medal. Dancing, fancy dress, shoe hunting and a 4k mini race with a couple of obstacles and your running the "Chaos" race.
Such a great fun atmosphere the whole weekend. You must book for 2017!! See you there Date of review: October 7, 2016
In short: Great organisation - brilliant route In full: This was the longest I have run and a brilliant race. So well organised, excellent scenery and generous goody-bag and T-shirt/ medal. Thank you Date of review: October 7, 2016
In short: Excellent organisation, support and friendliness. Perfect for a first time marathon In full: This was a lovely scenic route, lots of support through the villages, not so much in numbers but definitely in quality, with music, jelly babies and encouragement etc. Marshalls, water/ gel stations were frequent, well placed and very friendly. The race angels at the last hill were brilliant. A great idea. There a few small hills but a PB is there for the taking. My 5th marathon and the best and easily tops London. Date of review: October 7, 2016
In short: Great race, but could be some minor improvements In full: I really enjoyed this run and being a horse racing fan I was really excited to run by the grand national course. The route is flat and would have had great PB potential if it wasn't for the narrow path in the first KM.
I started towards the middle-front based on my best guess on where other runners of my ability would be (45min time). However, there were a lot of slower runners who started near the front and caused problems trying to pass them. I couldn't get into any sort of rhythm for the first KM and had to take to the grass. The path was far too narrow for over 1000 runners. I would suggest starting the race by the front of the stands if at all possible, as it was much wider there and would allow for a much better start.
As mentioned in another review, some idiot parked on the course and caused a delay to the start. That may be something the organisers want to try and avoid in future.
Having said all that, I would definitely recommend and i'm sure I will return next year. Date of review: October 7, 2016