In short: Veni Vidi Vici! (Best not to run it in sandals though) In full: Fantastically friendly atmosphere - including the wake up call on the campsite. Great facilities (including showers). Lots to scoff on the run as you admire the scenery, after a Roman in armour on horseback led the start. Roll on next year. Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: I drive 2 hours to participate. Says it all I think. In full: Great event again. Great camaraderie and atmosphere on a challenging but beautiful course. Would recommend to anyone interested in off road courses. Only concern is for the second time I have paid for camping but no one has checked at all when we drove in. I would appreciate a little bit of organising taking place to make sure that everyone who camps has paid like me. Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Speedy run In full: Between 2-3k absolutely stunk dog fouling, would suggest organisators to give out water in bottles (appriciated as it was) but think both sides did struggle with passing the cups and in run to grab them. It says traffic free- not really as approaching end of 1st k cars been passing opposite side of road and running back we had to use path way as traffic been back to normal. Did enjoy as it gives all opportunity for PB. Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Another outstanding WSR event! In full: I did the Half - and what a great route, loved the constantly changing terrain, from stony tracks to field edges to twisty woodland single track to barley fields, and a lovely downhill to the finish! Pretty surreal having Rupert the farm owner leading the start on his charger in full roman armour. Nice touch. Great aid stations as usual. I wasnt running on all cylinders given that I had done my first 50k the week before but even so, it was not so tough that was not able to really enjoy the scenery. Biggest race medal I have ever recieved, nearly manhole cover sized! (maybe a slight exaggeration...but not much) People really got into the fancy dress theme, there were plenty of centurians, togas, and even some ancient brittons, and the whole weekend was set off nicely with the silliness of the chaos race on Sunday from which all income went to Parkinsons Uk charity. Excellent as always! Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Great Finish - route under development In full: Despite the fantastic organisation, the great finishing location, and the sunny weather for 2015 – this still feels like a race in development. Much is made of the chance to run in the Olympic Stadium – indeed the final 300m are special and worth the price of the entry fee alone. What lets it down, however, is the fact that the Olympic Park still has the feel of a place undergoing redevelopment – nothing the organisers can do about that though.
Start – the location is really good, in an open grassy area near the Orbit. Plenty of room to meet up with people, stretch etc. Plenty of toilets on site, so the long queues didn’t take too much time to get through. Bag drop was a bit small – could do with a larger space and better marshalling…no one challenged me to make sure I was collecting the correct bag – hope no one had anything nicked.
Race – after the group warm-up, and an interview with the Mayor, we were set on our way by Paula Radcliffe. The route itself is fairly flat, however what inclines there are certainly have a little kick to them…keeps you honest! As mentioned earlier, the race takes you through the sites of London 2012 – Velodrome, Copper Box, Aquatics Centre etc, erupting into the stadium after running along the transport tunnel. This section of tunnel was actually really atmospheric – with audioclips of Crammy and Foster at the 2012 games, and Chariots of Fire blaring from the sound system it certainly helped prepare you for the burst onto the track. 300m round the track was great – chance to take in the venue, see your name/image on the big screens, and then cross the line. Great stuff. I, however, raced with a cracking hangover so was glad to stop running!
Apres Race – After the line you were ushered off the track, and back out of the stadium to collect your goodie bag (medal, PUMA event t-shirt, lucozade, water, snacks, adverts etc). Getting away from the event was a doddle too.
All in all – a well organised race. Over time, and as the redevelopment completes, this will be a great event. I hope the organisers continue to push the event and maintain it’s ‘specialness’ – even though in a few months time it will be more closely linked with West Ham! Booo!
In short: Bring your Sense of Humour and Your smile!... (Running shoes optional) In full: It terms of organisation you will be hard pressed to better WSR, The whole weekend which , for us, was a weekend camping (on site) in beautiful Dorset, was perfect.
Hot showers, Festival Loos (well looked after) Pig Roasts, Burning Sheep, Pre-cooked Food (could be ordered in advance), Bar... and a Half Marathon on Saturday through the beautiful countryside.... SO, THE RUN, for a slow, slightly out of shape runner like me, it was a challenge, but a good challenge, plenty of climbs, but all runnable, good variation in the terrain, some stony paths, some dirt tracks, and some stomping through fields (various crops, some scratchier than others!) .. Luckily it was glorious sunshine, a damper day might have added some more challenges to the technical elements of the run. WSR are FAMOUS for their drinks stations, you don't get a cup of water (well, you do!) but you also get a buffet at each one, with various goodies!.
These guys put SO MUCH effort into their race organisation its no wonder people come back time and time again to become part of the WSR family.... So, please don't book any WSR races next year? ( until i've secured ALL the places I want!!!!) Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Beautiful scenery, great fun, whitestar are my favourite races despite being tough. In full: Lovely atmosphere, lots of fun. Whitestar really know what the runner wants. A challenging run through beautiful countryside. Really well organised, a great medal and goody bag. Well done whitestar! Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Best Race this year In full: What a weekend, great location, great events and great Aid Stations must make this the best Marathon this year. The Medal was simply the best I have received. Love Stations was outstanding again and the atmosphere was also great. Roll on next year. Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Out -bloody-standing In full: My first marathon, my first WSR event, my new new favourite race, my new favourite running company. Amazing course / scenery, wonderful marshal's, glorious aid stations (I may have actually put on weight), party like vibe, fancy dress, being started by a centurion on a horse!, the medal and oh my what a medal it is. All of the other runner's, every one of them were fantastic. If you have not done a WSR event, then do it, and if never ran a marathon then believe that you can. Thank you Andy, thank you White Star Running Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Lovely, although challenging trail marathon In full: Good fun event from the WSR team. Well signposted and we were very well fed and looked after at the aid stations and Aphrodites Temple. The best medal I have ever received in any race. Will return for the half next year and Chaos race on Sunday to get the set on BLING Fancy dress must be in order for next year Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Race started by a centurion on horseback, fully laden checkpoint food tables, swimming pool (Dorset style) at the end and ice cream and cider within 10 foot of the finishing line. Are entered for 2016 open yet? In full: Loved it. Gorgeous trail run with a mix of everything, shady woodland paths, stony tracks, bumpy corn fields and glorious views. Checkpoints had tables groaning with food, enthusiastic marshals and CIDER. There was also a disco, pints for £2.50 and a completely bonkers chaos race (involving running in your socks and fighting for your own shoes for £5!!) and all for the bargain price of £20. Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Good non PB course 10K, with a stunning finish In full: I have previously done the last 3 of the Newham Anniversary runs, but this was the 1st time as part of the Great Run series. It is a reasonably well organised event, but there were a couple of things that let them down on the day. A lot of the volunteers in and around the stadium didn't know key information such as how to get out of the stadium - quite worrying! I also think if you are going to put a 10k on in the middle of July you have to have more than 1 water/drinks point. I think you can get away with that in cooler months of the year, but not in July on a course which has very little shade! That said, there where great waves - taking note of your wave colour and only letting you into the pen if it match - simple but effect, good comparing and race village, with very happy marshalls/volunteers all over the place. Then of course there is that finish! To finish in the (slightly modified) Olympic Stadium is just the most amazing end to any race and it is a moment I will never forget - Awe inspiring stuff. So Overall, for a 1st year, it was a great race, and if they improve the issues mentioned it will be an absolute must do event ever year. Recommended, especially if they sort out the issues. Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Beautiful. Brutal In full: Test-ran the route with the Isle of Wight Road Runners yesterday, on a baking-hot Sunday morning. It's not an easy run because of some long, gradual hills, but it is set in glorious countryside, and the views are simply stunning. Picture postcard race where you'll love the views and will have a warm sense of satisfaction having tackled one of the tougher 10 milers around! Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: We came, we saw, we conquered In full: My third White Star marathon and not my last, I was planning The Ox before we were half way through the Invader! Everyone needs to do a race like this, with no pressure on time and the focus firmly on fun. The fancy dress was excellent, food statins amazing as always and the 7am wake up call was... Interesting! Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Tough but scenic and very well run by Hermes In full: Every bit as challenging as advertised but great views and a friendly atmosphere. Really well organized and marshaled with a well marked course and plenty of much needed fuel available along the way. Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Great coastal off road 10k In full: Route had to be changed at the last minute to stop folk running off the cliff in the bad weather led to a slightly shorter than usual 10k, but great fun all the same. Some challenging hills but all run-able (just), good organisation despite starting a little later than advertised. Suggestion for next year- get the local Palmers brewery to sponsor with free beer for finishers!!?? Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Best Race this Year In full: Fantastic Race, brills location and the set up was excellent. Best medal I have ever received. Aid stations were well stocked and the Love Station was again the best. Atmosphere was really good, the whole weekend makes this the best this year. Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: Strange one ... In full: Really mixed feelings about this race. Had been looking forward to it for ages, especially the finish in the stadium but left feeling slightly disappointed.
Overall decent organisation as you'd expect – excellent PA announcer, good signage etc. However, I don't think the park lends itself to a run like this. Too many twists and turns had to be incorporated into the narrow route to make it fit and what with the numerous rises & falls of the service roads I think calling it "flat" is probably just about ok but wasn't what I was expecting. What with the number of people trying to squeeze round all the turns, many of whom were in headphone oblivion (argh!) it certainly was not PB potential. The route coming into the stadium at the end wasn't ideal as you got excited about approaching it, then had to deal with disappointment of running indoors round the a dark service area (no GPS of course) before you actually got out into the stadium.
The other weird thing was the km markers seemed to be consistently about 10 or 20 metres beyond where my Garmin was calculating as km laps. I would have put it down to my device except it has never happened before – it has always been bang on in every other run I've done. Interested to know if anyone else notice anything funny ?
So, yes the experience of crossing the Olympic finish line was cool but there were plenty of negatives too. I'll probably do it again but will temper my anticipation next year.