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
In short: worth the long drive.. In full: I have run this race for several years,its a well organised & friendly event.Staplehurst is very nice & the club runners are there to race each other, for the majority of the field its about having a sunday morning run in the countryside around Staplehurst. If you try this race you will enjoy it.. Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Will be back for more White Star races In full: Great organisation and festival atmosphere. The race wasn't the hilliest but was made very difficult by the extreme heat. Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Cider, cake, Romans and a spot of running In full: Two days, three races, three of my favourite bits of bling. Started with the half marathon on the Saturday morning, followed by the chaos in the evening and the full marathon on the Sunday. The route for all three was fantasic with stunning views across the Dorset Landscape. The weather on the day made it tough going but the fantasic White Star Running crew put on extra aid stations to help everyone stay safe. The camping and food on site is an added bonus as it takes away the worry of extra early starts for home and travelling before the race. The disco and food on Saturday night was also good. Everybody is so friendly and welcoming. Just make sure you bring lots of money as you will not be able to resist the White Star Running shop. Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Absolutely amazing! In full: What did the Romans ever do for us? Well, invade, so we could have the Dorset Invader races!
After a memorable start which saw centurions on horseback send us off, we charged down the hill, onwards to the rather challenging course. Although nowhere near as hilly as Giants Head, going underfoot was tricky at times and added to the sheer enjoyment/difficulty of the Invader.
Aid stations were well stocked and aplenty, and an additional station added to the course to help us deal with the tasking humid conditions.
The views are unmissable, especially running through the cornfields and areas steeped in history.
You can see why White Star have won their awards for this event.
I'm now poised over my keyboard, ready to sign up for 2017 when entries are live! Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Hot, very, very hot but wonderful In full: My first trail race and what a baptism of fire. Must have been the hottest day of the year which totally mucked up any thoughts of a fast race (as if), but who cares. It was marvellous, the organisers were all in roman togas or centurion gear as were many, many of the runners which gave the whole race a brilliant atmosphere. The water stations were well organised and the lovestation needs to be seen to be believed. Marshals and runners alike were all really friendly and were looking out for each other if runners (me included) needed a spot of walking (did I mention is was a tad warm) The race itself was a proper trail race: uneven ground, hills, single track rabbit trails, nettles, brambles, glorious wheat files, styles and gates. Seriously, the hills would have been gentle or 'rolling' if it wasn't for the blazing heat. Managed to stagger over the line (thank you for the downhill finish) and had a medal hung over my neck which almost dropped me to my knees it was so heavy (the heat again!) The finish even had roman baths, a beer tent and hog-roast. Can't praise this enough. Roll on the next White Star event Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Veni, Vidi, Vici. A challenging (and hot) trundle with fab marshalls In full: Really friendly organisation with fabulous marshalls as you trundle round some challenging but beautiful Dorset countryside. Definitely a hot one this year!
The aid stations were well stocked, and the "love station" jug of cold water over the neck was a much needed treat with the last few miles to go.
WSR like to give you maximum bang for your buck so it's slightly over marathon distance but the last few hundred metres are all downhill, so that's alright then. :-)
The big cooling "Roman Bath" afterwards was much needed and appreciated.
Overall a brilliant race, and one I'd do again. Date of review: July 18, 2016
In short: Awesome race In full: As always the WSR team are welcoming, accommodating and a wee bit mad. But this makes a superb event that makes everyone smile. The route was great with fantastic marshals you could fall in love with. Don't miss this next year people as you wont regret it Date of review: July 18, 2016