A WSR update – October 2021

Quite a lot has been happening behind the scenes in the White Star Running world over last couple of months. As always, we want to keep you up to date so you know where we’re at and what our plans are.

Back in August, we announced that we were suspending events for the rest of 2021. You can read that statement here. And then in September, we passed on news that our hopes for a Run New Forest event had also been cancelled.

However, this update is more positive. During this downtime we’ve been able to take stock of WSR and plans are looking good for our 2022 season. Almost 1,200 of you took part in our survey, which has been enormously helpful to us in determining what we need to change and what you love about our events. Thank you for all your contributions to this.

We also need to thank you for all your support of our virtual races (still plenty of options to enter here). We hate waste, so seeing those gorgeous medals in your hands, as well as all your great photos from earning them, has been a real boost. You’ve also been supporting the White Star Clothing shop – so much so, that we have very limited stock of certain items. You can browse the Last Few Remaining collection here.

We’re grateful for your ongoing support and we look forward to 2022. We are still working with a skeleton team, and we’ve all cut hours to ensure that WSR can weather this storm and come back stronger than ever. It does mean that it might to take a little longer to respond to emails and messages, but we will get through them all.

Here are a few additional updates to answer some of the common questions we’re getting.

Dark Dash Series and Winter Larmer events

Thank you for your patience on these events. We have been deciding the best course of action for these races. Unlike the Dorset Invader and Run Jurassic, where we had already received the medals, we hadn’t yet ordered the medals for the Dark Dash Series or Winter Larmer as we made the decision to cancel them in August.

We have decided to offer the Dark Dash races and Winter Larmer races virtually to those already entered. In line with our goal to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible, as well as wanting to support local businesses wherever possible, we are going to offer bespoke wooden medals for these events.

Full details will follow for all entrants. Entrants to the Dark Dash races will be able to opt into the virtual race to earn the unique medal, or carry the place over to next year’s events instead. As Winter Larmer was only due to be a one-off for 2021 (due to the cancellation of Spring Larmer earlier this year thanks to Covid), entrants for this race will be able to opt into the virtual race, or their place will be transferred to the Spring Larmer event in 2022.

We have some details to work out, so please bear with us and we’ll have more news very soon.

A change to Banked Entries

We’ve always offered a Fair Runner Policy to give our runners as much flexibility with entries as possible. We allow transfers and deferrals up to a given deadline. We also allow you to ‘bank’ your entry with us to use on a future race if you can’t decide or commit to which race you want to transfer to. We have, over the years, built up more than 1,000 banked entries, some dating back 2016.

As we’re moving to a new entry system, we need to sort and organise these entries. Also, from a practical and business point of view, it’s not sustainable to hold this many banked entries going forward.

It’s already written into our race terms and conditions that a banked entry has to be used within a year, though we’ve chosen not to enforce this until now. However, moving forward, from 2022, we do ask that you use your banked entry towards a race within 12 months.

The small number of banked entries that we have from 2016-2018 will be deleted from our system as we transfer them over. If you have a banked entry from a 2019-2021 race, we ask that you use it for a 2022 race if you’ve not already requested this.

2022 race season

We have some dates pinned down for events in 2022, so you can start planning your race diary!

Spring Larmer Tree Races – 5th-6th March
Ox Races – 7th-8th May
Giants Head Marathon/Sydling Hill Race – 25th June

We should have more dates for you soon as we continue our discussions with landowners. There may be some exciting new changes to the format of the Ox Races, so watch this space. We will begin opening entries for 2022 races soon, starting with Spring Larmer and Ox before the end of this year.

That’s everything for now, but we’ll keep you updated with developments. Once again, thank you for your support.

Andy and the WSR Team

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