In short: My first trail race, and loved it, hope to do all four next year pending work commitments etc, very well done to the organisers. In full: A steep pull up part Low Water, but as I enjoy hills that wasnt a problem (still hurt though!) but might be worth mentioning in pre-race info for first-timers. Also would be useful for the different events for participants to have race numbers in different colours (i.e. black for trail race, red for challenge, green for nordic etc... ) - would make it easier for spectators. Date of review: September 24, 2005
In short: sunny,woody,hilly & hard In full: a bit of everything, open tracks, undulating woodland, steep descents and a couple of hard hills, especially before mile 7 marker. Date of review: September 24, 2005
In short: 1st GNR & 1st 1/2 marathon In full: What a day. Fantastic atmosphere. Crowd support excellent. People very friendly (giving out chocs & water). Only gripe was the toilet facilities on route were in-adequate (not enough). Apart from that a brilliant day. Will hopefully be back again next year. Date of review: September 24, 2005
In short: A Great Day Out In full: This was my 5th GNR and I had trained specially for it whilst undertaking a 6 month tour with the MOD in Iraq. My training had gone great and on returning home I developed a stress fracture in my left foot. Being a stubborn old git I still decided to run. Prior to the injury I would have smashed 90 minutes. Sadly the pain from 8 miles was tough so I had to grit my teeth and finished in 1 hour, 37 minutes.
I had a good start because I was in the Leukaemia Research Pacing Team thanks to Running Fitness Magazine. I was able to cross the start line under 10 seconds but I still came across walkers in my start pen! I don't know why the big races in UK can't adopt the same policy in the US where an official checks all the numbers before allowing you access to the correct pen.
Yes, a lot of the criticism from other reviewers is fair but they get the same comments every year. With 50 thousand runners it is always going to be an organisers nightmare.
Just enjoy the day being part of one amazing race.
The best bit for me was finding my wife at the finish and waching the Red Arrows at the seaside at South Shields. The massage back in the hotel was dam good too but I had better not mention that here!
Finally, I also was very sorry to hear about the deaths and from what I've read the 4 guys seemed fit and good runners. My thoughts are with their families.
Bring on the Great South Run in a fortnight. Date of review: September 24, 2005
In short: Could do with "tweeking" in a few areas In full: The pasta party was expensive for what you got. The start really does need sorting out as does the amount of runners in a confined space. apart from that,back next year. Date of review: September 24, 2005
In short: 1st GNR and 1st 1/2M. The atmosphere was pretty special and it was a nice touch crossing the bridge with the red arrows overhead! In full: Ended up standing still for 1 1/2 hours with no stretching room prior to the start - not ideal prep! The race itself was fine although I hadn't done enough longer runs and suffered from about 10 miles onwards, also definitely suffered from a blood sugar crash until a small, rotund chappie gave me a custard cream with a couple of miles to go which got me in! The car parks and traffic at the end is probably my only real gripe as it took 2 hours to get out of SS following the race - not great with two screaming kids in the back! Hard to see what they could do different though so it's pretty much a "feature"! Going to have to train harder next year to get a time to be proud of, my time of 2hrs 11 mins this year reflects my major struggle with the last 3-4 miles, was on for a bit under 2 hours until this point. All in all an event to remember.....was damn hot though! Date of review: September 23, 2005
In short: one of uk's toughest marathons In full: not a course for P.B.'s or if you need a lot of support from the sidelines. but a beautiful course with a definate sting in the tail Date of review: September 23, 2005
In short: Beautiful course, with longish hill in middle, pleasantly organised In full: Beautiful course, with longish hill in middle, pleasantly organised, nice place for food and drink afterwards Date of review: September 23, 2005
In short: First 12.5 miles mixed race with half marathoners, so you have to be careful not to get into a race with them at this stage! 2nd half a lot quieter as you head off into the sticks. Not a PB race but well worth a look. Date of review: September 23, 2005
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