That’s why, when we’re planning a race, we want to show off some of the county’s best bits. From coast to countryside, our race routes will show you parts of Dorset you might not have visited before – especially when some of our routes go across land you can’t usually access (a huge thank you to the landowners and communities we work with), giving you new views to enjoy.
Take, for example, Crafty Fox. This race starts in the village of Ansty, a village that loves its beer (who doesn’t?). Once upon a time, the Hall and Woodhouse brewing company founded a brewery here in 1777, and only stopped in the 1940s. The village hall was a brewery building, and the old malthouse is now cottages. Our event village is on Brewery Farm, which was the site of the old brewery itself. And if all that’s put you in the mood for a pint, we recommend the Fox Inn which pulls a decent pint and gave us the name for our race.
Other Dorsetshire attractions to enjoy on this course include Bulbarrow Hill, a chalk hill that climbs 899 feet. Nothing to you hardened White Star runners. Views are incredible! You can also grab a selfie in front of the super grand Milton Abbey School, which is a bit posh. The main house was built by Joseph Damer, 1st Earl of Dorchester, from around 1780. Entries are opening soon for next year, and it’s a bit different to last year. For a start, we’ve moved it to June so it’ll be nice and sunny (maybe). Second, the marathon has been redesigned to be a one-lap race, not two. Finally, we’re adding in a Cub race of 5.5 miles.
Next up in our ‘We Dorset’ series, focusing on some of the great places we’re privileged enough to run around, is Moreton. This is where we base our Weekend At The Races series of events, including the incredibly popular Unicorn Frolic. Over the course of the late May Bank Holiday weekend in 2021, there’s also a marathon, 10-mile race, kids’ race and the Summer Sessions (an 8-hour frolic type event). Why is it called Weekend At The Races? Well, we start and finish at the Moreton Equestrian Centre about 7 miles outside the county town of Dorchester. The areas we run in are part of a private family-owned estate, which means our runners get to see routes and places you wouldn’t normally get to see. Moreton also has links with T.E Lawrence – yes, he of Lawrence of Arabia fame. He lived nearby at Clouds Hill (now owned by the National Trust) and his final resting place is in Moreton Cemetery. The Lawrence of Arabia Trail spans 7 miles from the village, through Moreton Plantation (which the marathon route also goes through), to the Tank Museum and back to the village again. Moreton itself is a great place to visit if you’re into long-distance running as many footpaths and cycleways pass through it, including the Purbeck Cycle Way, Route 2 (Sustrans), the Frome Valley Trail, the Jubilee Trail and the Hardy Way. Phew!