In short: Just...WOW! In full: OK, so my race didn't go as well as I hoped, but it's not just about the race, it's about the whole experience.
We camped in the athletes' village which offered a decent field, enough loos and a short walk to the village green and village hall.
Yes the route is hard but the support is amazing. I would say the first half is by far easier than the second half. So many friendly runners and enough well-stocked aid stations to keep you going. We enjoyed the Cranborne Chase Cider and Bucks Fizz at the Lovestation...then more cider at the last station around mile 26ish. The scenery is incredible and you'll get a glimpse of the Cerne Abbas Giant. It really is a beautiful part of Dorset.
I've done every WSR event so far this year; they're now a permanent fixture in my calendar and I'll be back for another go at GH next year without a doubt.
The medal, T-shirt and muff all amazing and a wonderful memento of the day. I actually felt really sad when it all came to an end.
There was plenty of lovely food put on by the local WI and SHARP - we missed the Friday night fare as we visited the Greyhound, but Saturday's chilli was delicious. I can say that the cider on offer was some of the best I've ever had! The barn dance looked like much fun!
The bell race on Sunday morning seemed a right laugh - I was out of it due to injury but my husband did it and really enjoyed it. The cow bell medal has been jingled to within an inch of it's life by our small child.
Highly recommended. If you do only one marathon in your life, make it this one!
And a huge thanks to the people of Sydling St. Nicholas who made everyone feel very welcome. Date of review: June 29, 2016
In short: Just amazing! Can we do it all again this weekend please? In full: Brilliant organisation and excellent involvement of the local community with the WI cooking supper, breakfast, cakes and endless bacon rolls and cups of tea.
Stunning scenery, quirky signage, a few hills, great company and fabulous bling. What more could you want from a race? Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: A tough marathon with fantastic scenery In full: With an ascent of some 1300 m this is not an easy marathon. It snakes and loops, virtually entirely off road, around & above the picture-postcard village of Sydling St Nicholas. The views from the tops of the hills are breath-taking. The level of support was exceptional for a trail run: water stations every 3-4 miles, and every other one with a variety of foods (including water melon!). Even though the route is deep in the countryside, there were plenty of marshals and supportive locals at various points all along the run, making it suitable for marathon novices in spite of its toughness. The route was mostly over good paths, with occasional squelchy muddy sections and one stretch with flinty lengths. The atmosphere was fantastic - super-friendly, welcoming and relaxed. The idiosyncratic (perverse?) humour that is the hallmark of WSR was often in evidence, adding to the informality of the event. I ran the GHM last year, and will be back next year. It's that sort of race! Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Rural racing at it's best - in fact any racing at it's best In full: I have done many White Star Events in the past, but not this one. I think they are all fantastic, but some of the routes tend to link with races I have done before. So I turned up to Giants Head, with a little bit of scepticism. That was quickly blown away. This race is an absolute jewel. If you haven't done a White Star event - you must do one. Perhaps leave this one until last, because nothing will ever compare again.
Set in a beautiful Dorset village, you feel so welcome from the outset. It feels like all your family and friends have turned up for a party. As you head out, that feeling rarely, if ever changes. The challenging hilly route drifts by with stunning views and friendly smiling faces and wonderful regular aid stations with plenty to keep you perky.
I could go on and on and on, but you really need to find out for yourself. Even a heavy but brief rain shower couldn't wash away peoples joyous spirits.
Come the end and you're hand an awesome medal and fab T-shirt. The queue for the worlds biggest ice cream.
One word of warning however, don't leave home without insect repellent. Even the horseflies are friendly....too bloody friendly! Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Another fantastic WSR event In full: Beautiful course (a tad undulating, but at least you get to take in the views when you walk), hugely friendly bunch of like-minded lunatics taking part and fantastic marshalls and food/water stations, plus a bonus mile for your marathon money - what more could you want! Date of review: June 28, 2016
In short: Brilliant In full: My first White Star event, would l do another YES.Everybody was so friendly we had a great time even if the Hog roast run out.See you next year. Date of review: June 27, 2016
In short: Glorious madness In full: My first trial Marathon was a tough one: but a glorious day in beautiful countryside with lovely people and atmosphere. The whole village of Sidling St. Nicholas should be thanked for their hosting of this great event. White Star Running has done it again! Date of review: June 27, 2016
In short: Best Race I have Ever Done - Amazing !! In full: Echo what everyone else has said. Organisation superb, atmosphere amazing, the camping brilliant. The course - Very bloody hilly and the ice creams to die for. But OMG the views make everything worthwhile and to top it off there is a Barn Dance too ! Fantastic Date of review: June 27, 2016