In short: Undulating? A euphemism for hilly..... In full: Undulating is an interesting descroption of this course. Admittedly, I do most of my training along the Thames path, but I would describe Woodstock as hilly. Funny how some courses appear to be only up-hill! Beautiful scenery and kindly, encouraging stewards made up for the hills. I also managed a chatting PB in managing to talk to my friend - uninterrupted by hills - for 1hr 58 minutes! I would do this again as it is great training for the NY Marathon. Date of review: September 23, 2005
In short: unreal In full: My 1st gnr what an experience, when i walked down onto the start , the amount of people wow ! took my breath away, i started at the 2 hour 10 mark took me about 10 mins to get over the start line, which i did,nt think was too bad,i thought the start was well set out, plenty of toilets , baggage buses , a long wait for the start but it was always going to be so go prepared, just one gripe like others have said if you know your going too walk it start a the back please and move too one side out on the road, the course , well i thought it was flat ( prob is too experienced runners ) but it caught me out at 9 miles , a steady climb up too 12 miles felt like someone had a rope on me pulling me back, but at the top of the bank before you drop down on to the sea front the most welcoming sight of my life a moble screen with one more mile on it , the finish is fantastic where my extra legs came from ???? who knows, quite an emotional time , at the end of the day i was disappointed with my time 2.31 but it was very warm. but when i heard the news about the four fellow runners well my tme means nothing . my thoughts go out to the families of the four runners. Date of review: September 23, 2005
In short: When you have to walk at 6 miles due to a bottle neck it's not really a running race. In full: While it was great to be part of such a large event and enjoy the day, I'll not be doing this race again. There's many many locally organised races where you can enjoy better scenery, better organisation and a better running experience.
The start area was shambolic - no signage, no stewards. The only toilets I could see were in the bushes by the side of the motorway. It took me ten minutes to get over the start line (not too bad compared to many), but I only got to run for 100m before being blocked by four walkers all walking next to each other. How difficult is it to think that if you're going to be walking then start nearer the back, and don't take up the whole road so people have to stop and start.
By about six miles I'd finally found some room and was running at my own pace. So what do they do? Close half the road so everyone has to squeeze in and walk for a bit. Thanks.
The finish area had a good atmosphere, and having parked on the road in South Shields I was amazed at how quickly we managed to get through traffic and out. Date of review: September 23, 2005
In short: Too many participants In full: Badly organised start for the "white" numbers who were a mixture of runners, walkers and those in fancy dress. Discarded black bags could have resulted in somebody tripping and falling flat bringing others down- would the 20,000 folowing on behind have been able to avoid trampling them? Also the race started too late - I had breakfast at 06.30 in order to be sure of getting to the start - no nutrition on the course and no water until 3 miles. So by the time I finished I had not eaten for 7 hrs. True I could have been better organised but how many others were like me - plenty I would guess. There were far too many participants.I spent the entire race trying to get around walkers and very slow runners. Maybe those who want to do a good personal time (however slow) should get away from the start before the fun runners and the size of the field should be limited to say 25,000. According to my wife who was a spectator the metro could barely cope and getting to the finish, including the walk from the southshields station, took 2 hrs from the airport. At the 3rd stop the train was crammed to capacity (600) and unable to take any more on board for the rest of the journey. Date of review: September 23, 2005
In short: 1st time runner had surprised myself In full: swimmer not a runner, got a chance to run due to somebody dropping out 3 days before the race, thoughts are with the family of the ones who lost their lives. Date of review: September 22, 2005
In short: Such a big event that I am glad that I ran it In full: I was lucky enough to be allowed to start at the front, so I didn't have the problems with crowds that others had and ran a respectable 1:24. Atmosphere and Red Arrows were great, but it is so expensive and so much effort getting to the start an hour early, and getting home from South Shields that I'll leave it a few years before returning. The London Marathon is a superior event in every way. Date of review: September 22, 2005
In short: Too darn hot! In full: Apart from the weather everything was fantastic. Yes there were walkers but I'd rather have seen a lot more walkers than a lot more people getting medical assistance (very upsetting). On the day the conditions were pretty hard for some people and I think took quite a few by surprise. It was my first time at the GNR (1st 1/2 in fact) and I was surprised by the continual upward and downward slopes and distinct lack of any nice flat stretches. I was lucky enough not to get nudged or jostled or if I did I didn't notice, worst thing for me was dodging the empty water bottles both on the ground and being hurled through the air to the sides of the road! Date of review: September 22, 2005
In short: Excellent course and a fine first attempt In full: Could only be improved with more water and less queuing at registration. Otherwise a great day, beats a road race. The legs recovered from the hills after a day or two! Date of review: September 22, 2005
In short: Excellent Atmosphere. In full: My first half marathon and i can say that it has definately encouraged me to continue with the longer distances.
The only thing that buggs me about the race is some of the reviews on here.....It's for Charity!! people of all abilities are out there to raise money for people who can't run it for themselves and people are inconsiderate enough to complain that they were walking! If you want to try and do a PB then make sure you qualify for the elite athlete entry or at lease get to the fron and give some of these people the encouragement they deserve.
Overall a brilliant day, the spectators were amazing, setting up their own water and shower stations and handing out sweets and ice-pops on route.
In short: Some of the best countryside in Leicestershire and the spot prizes must be the best in the whole country. First class field and getting ever popular In full: every finishers number included in draw for week end away for two in five star hotels in London, Paris and Stapleford Park Hotel. Childrens races beforehand are a nice attraction to involve the whole family and the toilet/showers were 'gold plated'. Date of review: September 22, 2005
In short: crowds are great In full: the GNR has been going for 25 years, but it really could learn a lot in terms of Orginisation for the London Marathon. You have to be there very early to get to the baggage buses , when you get to the end the buses are order. South shields is nightmare to get away from 1 hour wait for the metro back to Newcastle. The £34 entry fee is very high compared with £26 for london and it now all down to a ballot to get in. And Brendon Foster calls it the people's race,sorry but its now the Charities race (20,000) places at £350 to raise in sponsenship Date of review: September 22, 2005
In short: Cold damp start, tough terrain for a charity race In full: Agree with other comments. Spent too long hanging around getting very cold before the race started. Not enough toilets, 10 for >700 people, just as well they didn't get the expected 1500! This was a tough x-country course for a charity race. Felt more like a winter x-country race. Clock at finish shaved 30secs off my time! Date of review: September 22, 2005
In short: challenging XC course, well marshelled, and friendly In full: must be one of the best 10m XC races in the country, and free beer at the finish very well deserved Date of review: September 22, 2005
In short: More of a fell race than a half marathon. In full: I did the half and thought the organisation could have been better as the route was not always clearly marked and there were only 2 drink stations serving only water. Overall the race was good value but no permanent memento such as a t-shirt was offered and the half marathoners didnt even get a certificate! Amazing scenery as it was a clear day but the terrain had everything including bogs, steps and part of it was along what looked like a small stream!! Date of review: September 22, 2005