In short: Could do away with the fencing near the central reservation. didn't know the main race had started. Pity all the water was near the baggage buses, should have been on both sides and nearer the front as should have more toilets. In full: Atmosphere was good , especially on the long climb upto the first water station. should also have been more toilets in the Gateshead stadium area. I was disappointed the chip strap was not long enough but had I tried it earlier I could have rectified that problem. i wasn't happy at the end that I had to try and bend to undo the strapping, I was sore enough! Why are there no T shirts over size L? Many runners like myself are on the large size so I was not able to wear my size L with pride. I was lucky in getting a bus out of South Shields quite quickly and avoided the walk to the station or ferry. All this apart I really enjoyed the whole week-end from Quayside to the race and will be entering next year. I have already booked my accomodation. Thoughts and prayers with those who lost near and dear ones. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Very enjoyable but don't moan if you get stuck behind slower runners In full: Not really sure how the organisation was at the start as I was just coming out of the loo when the gun went off! By a major bit of luck however, I managed to find a bit of fence to hop over and crossed the line after only 2 minutes!
The best plan is definitely not to take this too seriously or you'll probably get really annoyed at trying to get past slower runners. That was my plan anyway, but it all went a bit wrong as I threaded my way through the throng and, as I passed the Rear of the Year (Nell McAndrew) at about 9 miles I suddenly realised I was on a bit of a blinder.
6.5 minutes off my previous best and a frankly astounding 890th overall so there's definitely potential for a PB if you're lucky, just don't turn up EXPECTING to do one or you could be disappointed and not enjoy what is a very well supported race.
Enjoyed all the bands on the way round too. The only complaint being that there were a few too many Mackems over the last few miles. Perhaps it should FINISH in Newcastle instead! Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Great experience - but probably only once in a lifetime! In full: I had a great day - tinged with sadness at the news of the fatalities. I have only been running for 9 months, but did get a bit frustrated with people slowing to walk without consideration for runners around them. It was hot though! Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: A great weekend away In full: OK, its crowded and theres lots of beginers and the PB potential is very poor, but GIVE YOURSELF A WEEK OFF!! Just enjoy it. The crowds are fantastic, top class organisation for such a massive event. You can't help but smile as you run round, and how many other races have you run in that the world record was broken. I rest my case your honour. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Loved it! In full: I thought this was a really good day for runners of all abilitys. im slow so lined up at the back but due to the 2 sides moving at differant paces, probably started the run before others who lined up well in front of me. it was unavoidable and think people should consider this before making comment on 'irritating' slow people and walkers. there was plenty of water available near the start before people lined up, and although the official bottled water ran out there was water available.
very sad about the peole who died but i hope it helps their families to konw that they died doing something they really wanted to do and must be the type of people to have lived their lives to the full to have been lined up on the start line. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Far too crowded! In full: Organisatiuon of the race was good. Very annoying having to zig-zag through so many people immediately from the start to the end. Far too busy! Water stations seemed disorganised and at times was a struggle to get water. The scenery was good and the crowds/bands very good. A fun day out. Very disturbing seeing young men so poorly. My wishes go out to the families of the 4 men who died. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Special event but felt overcrowded compounded by runners of varying abilities mixed together. In full: Heard on Monday morning about the sad deaths of 4 fellow runners and like the previous writers would pass my sympathies to all the families concerned. The run itself felt overcrowded compounded by participants of varying abilities mixed together. It may be that clearer guidance on where to start dependant on ability, the effect it has on others if you overestimate your ability and some etiquette guidance in the pre-race literature could help. If you accept the for a lot of people this was a huge challenge, with great support and atmosphere, raising substantial monies for charity it is a special event. Saying all that, the entry fee is criminally high, Worth doing once but probably wont do it again. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Fantastic but crowded In full: First half. In hindsight running at pace was difficult due to sheer volume of runners which I anticipated at the start but not along the entire route. Lack of bottled water at the Start could have made a big difference to my performance(even an official ahd no idea where the water was either!). Hope the very unlucky few didn't have this problem. Sympathies to families of the four souls lost on Sunday. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Fell running can be done in the South-West. In full: This is a fairly hard run which will require you to think for yourself. Some navigational skills are needed if you are to cut the corners off the route. Otherwise, just follow the tracks. This race could be a daughting prospect in inclement conditions. But the descent off Yes tor is worth the effort. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Nice event to say that you have done In full: Too Hot? Not a race for a PB? Come on, it was warmish and all your training should have been done during the summer so everyone should have been used to the heat! I stood in my allocated place at the 6min mile marker and was not held up by any walkers or slow runners etc, in fact was only 25secs off my PB - so no complaints here about getting away from the start. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: A good experience In full: Difficult to add much to what has already been said. If you want a quick time get there early and stand with Paul Tergat. There were plodders aplenty, more than I had expected. Highly irritating to be held up by morbidly obese walkers within the first 400 yds but I know for next time. Having said that, I'll probably do it again. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: 1st time at this race - Amazing, well worth it In full: I ran this for the first time this year, as did my husband. Both thoroughly enjoyed but no chance of PB's. Agree with other runners, spent a lot of time weaving in and out even just 3 feet from the start line. I have nothing against walkers participating but for their own good and the good of others they should not be near the front of the line. Took 28 mins to reach the start line. Pleased that we both finished, very very sad to hear about the deaths of those four men - their family and friends are in our prayers. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Too many people, and too long to get away afterwards In full: As many other people have said, I made the mistake of lining up in the correct place at the start, only to find that several thousand people had ignored the appropriate time and got as close to the front as possible. I must have run 18 miles in total, weaving around the road passing people who had stopped to walk - some in the first mile !! The last mile felt like five despite the support from the crowd. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: sensational In full: It's obvious that starting position, ability & expectations, dramatically influence your opinion of the race.
I guess I was lucky. For me it was sensationally organised. There was plenty of water at all of the stations. The crowds and fellow participants were exceptional. I loved the en-route music and after 1 race I have become a GNR convert.
From talking to others, it does appear that more 'runners' would enjoy it if the start was staggered. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Good for a big day out, bad for a PB and ramblers getting in the way In full: A long, long emotional day, but very uplifting all the same. Biggest buzz - the rad arrows flypast when on the Tyne Bridge. Lowest low - seeing unconcious people at roadside and learning of the 4 deaths... Annoyances? Walkers / unfit positioning themselves at the front of the field and the crowding on the course due to the field size Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Good atmosphere, Too many people. Boring scenery on the whole. Well organised. In full: I travelled a very long way to do this race. It took me 20 mins to get over the start line. I stood at the 2 hour marker and actually took 2hrs 15 mins - I was overtaking people all the way and found it very difficult to run properly. I did expect this for the first 5 miles but the situation never improved. I enjoyed the atmosphere but felt that too many people had been allowed in - many looked as though they had never run a step in their lives before. I realise that a lot of charities make a lot of money out of it but I was just running for myself this time - having raised money in other events. I ended up feeling very guilty - which was ridiculous. It was a nightmare getting away from South Shields at the end. Why did they take so long to re-open roads? I'm sorry to hear about the deaths - seems those poor folk were people who were well used to running too! Perhaps they just didn't drink enough! Date of review: September 20, 2005