In short: WHITE STAR RUNNING REDEFINES 'BRILLIANT' In full: The team from White Star Running does it again! Just when you think they can't get any better, they somehow manage to find another cherry for the top! This time, it was having access to a restricted area, normally used by the army for tank training. A beautiful location and idyllic running terrain. Challenging underfoot in places, but not impossible. The occasional hill, but not brutally hilly. All the usual WSR loveliness, including an AMAZING medal and a fabulous location made this my favourite yet. If you're thinking about doing this one, don't think for too long, cos most of us willbe back again next year and it'll fill up fast! :)
In short: HOW CAN AN INAUGURAL EVENT BE THIS GOOD?? In full: Superb event organised by Mark O'Meara of Andover Trail Runners. A very experienced runner himself, and it showed in the almost perfect event he materminded.
Hilly enough to be challenging without being brutal - and a nice variety of terrain to keep it interesting.
A well thought out route, something for the fast and the slow, the experienced and the first timer and everyone was made to feel very welcome.
A small and low key event this year to test the water...but sign up quick if you fancy a go next year as I suspect the reputation of this one will go far.
In short: NOT WORTH THE HIGH PRICE TAG In full: Where to begin? Having to go to Brighton in advance to collect number at a waste of time expo.Stupidly big queues for numbers and then to be told there wasn't room in the pen I wanted??? The world's smallest kit bag which split if anything more than a shoelace went in it... Not enough loos at the park,only one coffee van.... Course itself is reasonably nice but waaay too crowded in places. Water stops had run out of cups at several locations.. The small t-shirt I asked for wasn't available... All in all, a shambles...and it isn't even their first year. I've done a lot of marathons, this was one of the worst organisationally. Sorry Brighton, at 55 quid I won't be back.
In short: DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! In full: just when I thought white star running couldn't get any better.... what a simply brilliant event. Even the weather was organised to perfection. Beautiful scenery,a few small *cough* hills, wonderful aid stations and super friendly marshals, well signposted,free food and free massage at the end.... Running at it's best.
In short: JUST WHEN YOU THINK WHITE STAR RUNNING CAN'T GET ANY BETTER.... In full: Another event of enormous fun, brilliant organisation, all eventualities covered on the food and drink front, hog roast at the end, lovely course, etc etc.
Romans a plenty, much silliness, smiles all round.
What on earth will they come up with next?
I CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT:) Date of review: July 20, 2015
In short: WHITE STAR RUNNING DOES IT AGAIN In full: The Team at WSR just goes from strength to strength. Not just a brilliantly organised run, but beautiful scenery and lovely quirky touches ( naked farme in bath/lady farmer setting off the race with a hunting horn) Well stocked aid and water stations, marshalls at road crossings, on course first aid ( medics in land rovers) super friendly volunteers and just smiles all round. At the end there's free massages, an ice cream van selling ice creams the size of Dorset, burger stall. Then, when you think it's all over, along come the amazing villagers, with mountains of chili and rice and then crumble for pudding. For such a small cost it isn;t even worth mentioning! After you have run the marathon, stuffed youself with delicious food, you then have a barn dance...... It isn;t just a run, it is a community event, the farmer who gives his field over to parking/camping also serves beer at the bar! One of the toughest runs you'll do - but also one of ( if not) the best! If Carlsberg made marathons......
In short: A GOLD STAR EVENT In full: What a fabulous event this is. Started last year, the team has nailed the art of race organising. The start is at Cheltenham racecourse, loads of free parking. ... route goes over virtually every surface you can think of, grass, fields, mud, sand, stone. It goes uphill and along the ridge for probably the nicest view you'll get in a race. The downhill is great fun :) Every aid station is also equipped with a loo, even in the middle of nowhere... Now that's luxury! Brilliantly signposted, I managed not to get lost :) Option to do a variety of distances, two laps for a marathon, so you get to enjoy the cracking view twice ;) And a free massage at the end. ... Very welcome. I did this event last year and enjoyed it immensely. This year I loved it. Bring on 2016.
In short: A GOLD STAR EVENT In full: Crumbs, where to start? Easy to get to, easy to park, plenty loos, smooth check in, great instructions. Right, the event Itself.. I'm a trail runner, I love mud, so was slightly dreading this first I into tarmac loops.... But it was just such a brilliant day. You can tell it was organised by runners as every little thing was taken into account. .. names on fabulously designed bibs, water every mile, crisps/jelly babies/clif blocks every 2.5km, area for personal tables to be set up, plenty of room for supporters around the course, free photos, showboating zone (genius! ) 17 laps sounds like a lot but there's so much socialising to be had that the time passed pretty quickly. So much so that PBs were falling all over the place. The marshals were superb and hugely encouraging, the scenery was actually not as industrial as I feared and the screen showing lap progress was a nice touch. ... Even though we dutifully lobbed a band each time we completed a lap. Topped off with the hugest medal, free beer and a 'keep warm' jacket, it was pretty much the ideal marathon. Well done tz runs, see you next year :) Date of review: May 31, 2015
In short: ANOTHER CORKER FROM WHITE STAR RUNNING In full: Reall, if you haven;t cottoned on to Andy Palmer and the WSR Team, then you are really missing out. There's nothing to fault about the Ox....fab scenery, tough enough to make you feel you've worked a bit and great aid stations, fab marshalls, hilarious pre-event updates and an all round lovely feel topped off with an epic medal.
In short: WHY DOES EVERYONE DO LONDON WHEN THERE ARE EVENTS LIKE THIS? In full: I did London last week for the first and last time. I did this today for the first time, but it vertainly won't be the last. I am not a happy tarmac runner - I run for scenery ( which is why I didn;t like London!)and this has plenty. Hills, yes, but runnable ones. Lovely marshalls, plenty aid stations and a free hig roast and massage at the end. Despite my dislike of tamac, I will go back to this! Well done Gillingham Trotters, with your mad french woman. You did great :) Date of review: May 3, 2015