Giants Head is our most popular weekend of running, and we absolutely love going back to the village of Sydling St Nicholas every year. This series of races really is something special. The routes show off the very best of Dorset. Yes, they are hilly. Very hilly. But we promise you that the views are worth it.
The best bit about these races is the village itself. The residents welcome us and hundreds of runners into their home every year. We camp on their land, right in the middle of the village, and there’s a real festival vibe to the whole weekend.
What to expect
Well, for a start, there are some races. On the Saturday is the Giants Head Marathon, which is 26.2 (erm… maybe 28) miles of hills, trails, views and even a peek at the famous white chalk Cerne Abbas Giant. It’s tough, but it’s gorgeous. Then we also have the Sydling Hill Race on the same day, which is about 11K and offers another stunning trail route over the shorter distance. These two races have always gone hand in hand on the same day, which is why they share a medal – same great experience, same great medal, distance to suit your level or preference.
When you’ve finished your race, you get your bespoke medal, themed around the Cerne Abbas Giant himself, with his distinctive appendage (yes, it spins, why not?). There are the best ice creams at the world to buy at the finish line, and a well-stocked bar. There’s time to grab a shower (there’s only a few, so be prepared to queue a bit), get changed in your tent and head back to the hall for some food, kindly prepared by the village. Finally dance the night away at the barn dance in the Village Hall to some epic music provided by Black Sheep Band.
On Sunday, we have our chaotic Bell Race. It starts with a bit of silliness, before you start the run up a big hill to the top. Here you perform some more silliness, grab your cow bell medal and run all the way back down again, clanging away. All profits from this race go back into the village, so it’s a great way to run off the sore legs, have some fun and contribute to the village at the same time.
Finally, the newest addition to the weekend and now in its third year, the Giants Half. This bridges the gap between the Marathon and the Hill Race, and has its own ‘Sunday’ medal, which is the same design as the Saturday medal, but square.
Food will be provided by the villagers as usual, but there will be a slight shake-up to the offerings on the Sunday; we’ll announce more details on the food options nearer the time, when you will be able to pre-book main meals.
Giants Head 2024 takes place on 15th-16th June 2024.
Saturday 15th June
Giants Head Marathon
Sydling Hill Race
Sunday 16th June
All races will open for entry on Friday 1st December at 7pm. Camping will also open at the same time. Pre-registration for the Bell Race will open in April.
We won’t be opening the waiting list this year at the same time as entries, as we ended up with a massive waiting list very early on last time, but then places weren’t taken up when they became available. Therefore, the waiting list will be opened nearer the time for those who definitely want to be in line for a place.
Entries will be here: https://whitestarrunning.clubtrac.co.uk/e/giants-head-weekend-7059
Join the Facebook Event for more information here.