In short: I am a steady runner, but even just after the first mile I was stuck behind walkers which I found both astounding and frustrating. Could they not be advised to move to the left in future races? The atmosphere was fantastic and crowds brilliant. Date of review: October 2, 2004
In short: Poor organisaton so that too many slow runners started too far towards the front & blocked everyone else. Not enough porta-loos as queues were about 40 mins long before the race. Date of review: October 2, 2004
In short: Great atmosphere that made up for the other shortcomings In full: Only my second half marathon and if the people who slowed to a walk after only 3 miles or so had moved ut of the way I'm sure it would have been my fastest! Water stations too late in the race I needed a drink well before the first one. Too few loos for the ladies! wasted 11 minutes queueing for a pee. Had a hard job seeing the letters at the meeting place, could be higher please. Even aftert his whinge I'm glad I did it despite the 6 hour drive home! Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: In the end - too many people! A great event to do once, wouldn't do again though. In full: as long as you accept it as an excellent charity event and can put up with the massive hassle factor of getting there and getting back home before you grow a beard!, you should do well. Too many slow runners, spent too much time and effort running in and out of the pack - good experience, have done it, now move on to something else. Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: Too many people. No space to run. In full: Having run my 2nd GNR I'm seriously wondering whether to bother again.
The field is too big, and in my opinion it is bordering on dangerous. It wouldn't be such a problem if there was a staggered start. The frustrating thing is you cannot run for very long before coming across walkers who have ignored the pace signs at the start and just decided to start as near the front as possible. And why do some of those walkers have to link hands to cause more of a blockage? The water stations are chaotic with no warning that they're coming up. The road narrows down from dual carriageway to turn left at 5 miles. This causes a major bottleneck. Didn't get much chance to look at the scenery because I was concentrating so hard not to trip someone up due to having no space to run in.
The start was chaotic. You could see people with white numbers in the Orange pen. Didn't appear to be much organisation at the start. Had very little room to run in. Water bottles and tops strewn all over the road - very dangerous. Was unable to run over the finish line because there was a queue of runners waiting to be processed at the finish. Goody bag collection was chaotic. Goody bag not a patch on last year either. T-shirt poorer quality, medal much lighter, and no drinks bottle. What use is microwave pasta at the finish? You want stuff you can eat, because you know it's going to take ages to get away from the finish to somewhere you can eat. At least I used the ferry this year to get north of the Tyne, rather than wait ages for the Metro.
In short: Have to agree with others that too many slow runners at front. Spent 2 miles playing dodgems. Must have run an extra 1/2 mile weaving across the course. Still want to do it again though !! Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: Oh what a marvellous day ! In full: Yes indeedy !.My 15th and boy it just gets better and better. I have a few ups and downs this past year an dmy running has helped me through some real bad times and the GNR is the ultimate tonic !. The support is brilliant,the pleasure on peoples faces as you clap them them for their support is lovely to see. A big thank you to all the people of Newcastle and South Shields.You really are the tops !!!. P.S.Thanks to Jean as well !!! Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: Most brilliant experience in friendliest environment In full: Only my 2nd GNR but this is now a fixed date in the calendar from now on. Yes, it's very slow at the start. By the time you get on the Tyne Bridge your well into your stride and with the music playing and the crowds cheering you really feel like you belong there. The undulating course makes you work hard and by the time you get to South Shields it down hill all the way - either that or the adrenalin takes over.The support all the way along is great. No wonder it's the biggest and best half marathon in the world. Here's to 2005! Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: Great atmosphere makes for a very special race, very congested though In full: Having run the last two Great North Runs I now expect the slow start to the race caused by the many thousands of entrants. However, this year was much worse in that respect and it was a good mile or so before I got room to run easily. Having said that the atmosphere of this raise is very hard to beat and as such this race is more of an event than a serious race. If you want a PB choose somewhere else. If you want a very enjoyable experience and motivation to continue running (if you're a beginner like I was 3 years ago) then this is the race for you. Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: too many people In full: I know that running with 50,000 others is a great atmosphere but it just far too many. During the whole race I never had more than a metre of clear space in front of me. They are focusing on being the world's largest half marathon rather than being a decent run. The Bolder Boulder run in Colorado, USA sets a good example - with 35,000 runners everyone is split into groups of 1000 and groups set off with about 5 minutes in between, which worked fantastically well. Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: absolutely do -able all over again this week end!!! In full: Absolutely fantastic atmosphere and to have Kelly Holmes sign my running t shirt just made the day even more special. Recommend to anyone who can get around a good course in iron wheels or limbs made of flesh. Excellent Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: Fantastic experience and great atmosphere In full: The organisation is exceptional given the number of people taking part. Wouldn't like to see the numbers increase as it may become over-crowded. Again the problem of congestion and very slow runners near the front in the first couple of miles. Excellent accommodation from Nirvana. Definitely back next year! Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: Fantastic event in which one can celebrate running and human kind in perfect harmony In full: PB potential is non existent given the masses running. Next time I will ignore the pace markers at the start and just make sure I try and get as far forward as I can if I want to try for a good time. But the whole experience was fantastic. Wonderful people with amazing stories to tell made just being there being a priveledge for me. And the sight of the sea at 113/4 miles was the most wonderful sight in the world. But I didnt get my pasta party tickets - just as well from what I have heard. My son did the Junior event on the Saturday that was a bit of a shambles at the start due to the crowds but fantastic experience for him. Date of review: October 1, 2004
In short: any race that can cope with 45k people must have something going for it! In full: Obviously not the flattest course and yes the water stations were a bit frustrating, not well marked and I had to detour off route so as to grab my own bottle off the tables (I like the lid on so it lasts longer) Probably wont do again now that I know of more races, just too much hassle for a run Date of review: October 1, 2004