In short: A celebration of marathon running …. no wonder this event was voted Best Marathon in the UK for 2014! In full: This year was my second Giant's Head Marathon and I had just as much fun at this event as I did the previous year. The race was started by the farmer's wife again, this time she was on horseback and at the sound of her hunting horn, we were off! We were soon out of the village of Sydling St Nicholas and after about two miles, and in the middle of nowhere, we could hear a bell ringing. And, there he was again, the naked farmer in his bathtub, drinking beer! There are about ten large ascents on the route, but therefore ten exhilarating descents & this is partly what makes the GHM so excellent, as well as the stunning views over the Dorset countryside from the tops and the friendliness of the other runners. The descent around the Mile 17 mark is one of the longest, about two miles and seems to go on forever. This year there were swathes of foxgloves in full flower and I spotted at least two different species of orchid. Excellent support again from the marshals, tables at the aid stations groaning with all kinds of different food and drink; watermelon, cakes, biscuits, peanuts, crisps, etc., then at the Lovestation at Mile 21 there was cider and, as the race briefing included a proposal of marriage by one of the runners, pink champagne! I knocked back a cup of cider and a shot of the champagne, then it was time to get a move on to the finish line as I had stopped to take over 100 photos on my way around the route this time. Luckily, the previously untried consumption of alcohol mid-race did not have an adverse effect on me, quite the opposite in fact as I found myself almost skipping down the last descent to the finish line on the village green where I was greeted by the iconic GHM medal, t-shirt and cheers from the faster finishers and spectators, who didn't seem to want to leave!
White Star Running have made this a “must-do” event for every serial marathoner and long may it continue. Date of review: July 24, 2015
In short: Brilliant Race is an understatement! In full: From the moment you register down to every minute details of the race, everything is a treat. You don't have to try first to believe it...Just do it!
In short: Awesome but tough In full: Great race, loved it. White Star Running really know how to put a trail route together and back it with outstanding organisation and support. 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: fantastic event makes running fun again In full: really great event something for everyone! organisation, venue, marshals,aid stations all top notch and the medals are superb i would recommend any white star event to all- they just don't do mediocre Date of review: July 19, 2015
In short: White Star Running events have to be tried by all runners! In full: I am not usually one for 'quirky' or 'zany' but WSR back it up with (it seems) a sincere attempt to make their events memorable (see other reviews). This was a good route (not as hilly as some of their courses) it was all runable - slowly for me! The run through the woods at 7ish kilometers was a memorable aspect of the day. Date of review: July 19, 2015
In short: Another slice of White Star magic. In full: A good few people dressed in Roman costume to match the event theme, but I was roasting in a vest so glad I didn't! It was a very varied and enjoyable route, lots of single file sections mostly rough fields and a few woodlands. Nice hill fort half way through. I wasn't going for a PB just a nice day out and indeed it was. Epic medal, great route, grand company and clockwork organisation. Date of review: July 19, 2015
In short: Do it! In full: This is the second WSR event I've done. The routes are usually pretty tough but the scenery has always been worth the pain.
Beginners beware: if your 1st off road marathon is a WSR event you risk feeling crestfallen at other marathons where 'Water Stations' are just that: not even a jelly baby in sight. Water stops at WSR events will offer a selection of savoury food, home-made cakes, sweets, fresh fruit and different drinks! The super -lovely marshalls add to the fantastic atmosphere.
There was camping, lovely food and showers.
Most importantly, the atmosphere throughout the event was fantastic. The Roman on horse to kick off the run was brilliant, the one on top of the finish waving a flag was hilarious. Any marathon where it is 'normal' to come across a Roman straightening his sandals in the middle of a wood is worth attending.
The bling was stunning.
An absolute 'must-do' event!! Date of review: July 18, 2015
In short: Massive hills, well stocked checkpoints and amazing atmosphere! In full: Loved it! Super-friendly, brilliant scenery and lots of hills to walk up and run down. Checkpoints well stocked with a variety of food and a barn dance at the end and a hog roast. Oh and BIGGEST ICE CREAMS EVER!! Date of review: July 14, 2015
In short: My only UK even I have done and it blew my mind. In full: Andy vets all the entries and only allows those to enter who are fun, friendly, generous, smiling (and in my case slow). He then slows you even more by putting the course in what is just stunning scenery. If you only do one event, this is the one. We drove 500 miles to do it and it was WELL WORTH IT. WSR you have set the bar so high, integrating a great event with a village life, cakes, barn-dancing, cider, it's just fab. It is the friendliest, friendliest event ever. It is a shame places are limited but I can imagine having 4000 runners there would loose the charm of the event. Book early! Date of review: July 5, 2015