In short: A tough scenic race In full: The series of three made for a great weekend. Glorious weather and a very well organised event. Races were tough but catered for all abilities. Its a shame that more people don't enter as Ryde Harriers do a decent discount for the ferry so you can make a long weekend of it. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: Hell on the day in all honesty In full: 2nd GNR. Last year went superbly well, had a great run and PB. This year, got off well, 4 mins to cross line from 8 mins start point, yes had to dodge a few slower "runners" but expected that.
Felt rough as hell after 8 miles when on target for PB, calf tore, and was lucky to finish in truth (1.59). I now feel ill! The really scary bit is that I can't remember huge chunks of it - anybody else ever had this?
Will be back next year but thoughts go out to those who lost loved ones. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: Busy, but otherwise it would not be the GNR In full: Walkers at the front: nothing you can do about them. I sometimes give them a little nudge. It IS crowded, but so is London. If you want some space go do one of the other halfs. Would agree with a water stop nearer the 3 mile mark. Its still a GREAT event and recommend it to anyone. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: Excellent race, friendly organisers, interesting course and lovely weather In full: My first marathon and I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure what happened to my legs from mile 19 to 24 but I'm not going to blame the hills. Hard work staggering PAST so many pubs! Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: Needs water earlier than 4.5 miles In full: Most of my views have already been said but in summary:
1) A fantastic atmosphere. The crowds line the entire course and apart from a few annoying kids they really pull you along. 2) Water WAS available at the start, some way back near the baggage buses. However, I really think that water should have been available again before 4.5 miles, especially on such a hot day. If you could drink vaseline there'd be no problem as it was everywhere! Despite the organisers assertions that water didn't run out, I witnessed one station where discarded bottles were being manually refilled by marshals. 3) Something needs to be done about the walkers starting too near to the front. As a rather slow runner myself, I started at the back of the field but even I soon came upon people strolling along very near to the start line. It wouldn't be so bad if they showed some awareness/consideration but many of them walked side-by-side several abreast. The suggestion of a walker's lane at the side of the road is an excellent suggestion but things would work much better if slower competitors just used a bit of consideration and started from the back of the field. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: A challenging run in hilly countryside In full: The added interest of the Tour with 5 races in 6 Days made this a daunting challenge, however by starting slowly and enjoying each race the whole experience was fantastic. Excellent goody bag, T shirt, Sweat Shirt, gloves, glass trophy and a spot prize Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Pleased to have finshed both 25th GNR & 25th London Marathon In full: I thought the GNR was a very well organised event and felt everything ran really smoothly. Only suggestion would be to provide salt tablets or Sports Drink on the way round as water not the best thing for hydration, especially on such a hot day. Crowd support was great towards the end when you really needed it. Support from other runners was also motivating. Agree with others about slow runners making their way to the front, which is not helpful for those who want to run and surely can't be motivating if you have to walk after a mile and have thousands of people running past you.
All in all, a good day out and worthwhile taking part to say you have done it. May do it again next year!
Like others, my thoughts go to the families of those who lost a loved one. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Tough day In full: This was my 2nd run. the first was in 1999. I've had a back problem that has pprevented me from competing since then. I learnt my lessons from 1999 and got myself as close to the front as possible to avoid the wall of grannies.
I had hoped to run close to 1 hour 30, but I found it just too warm and ended up coming home in 1 hour 39, which I was happy with given the conditions and how bad I felt.
Despite drinking water at every opportunity I was still suffering major fluid loss, I lost 5 pounds in weight during the race. Not sure what happened because I did a 12 mile run 2 weeks ago on a warmer day and felt nowhere near as bad, just one of those days I guess.
The start should be better organised and they should have water at 2.5 miles, but apart from that the run was well organised. They need to take account of climate change when scheduling the event - hot September days like that will be much more frequent than they used to.
Very sorry to hear about the fatalities - they must be related to the heat. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Hill training required In full: Great race, have now completed this 7 times. No matter how much hill training and giving up smoking I still can't seem to get up all 3 hills! Often a very hot day so could do with one more water stop along route. All runners really supportive, great organisation, great race to enter. A pretty tough race though hilly in parts especially the last streach along the black path very tiring about the 8k mark. Would be nice to have more local support along route to cheer you on. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: A must do for any runner, but once is enough for me In full: I did enjoy the run as a whole, but as with what has already been said, THERE WERE FAR TOO MANY RUNNERS. I, as many other runners do, make sure that I stand next to the marker which best represents my finnish time. Many people just pushed their way as far forward as they could which made it very difficult for everyone else, I saw people walking before they reached the 1st mile marker. It took me 30 minutes to get over the start line, all I seemed to be doing was zig zaging past the thousands of walkers, many of whome were linked arm in arm 6 or more abreast. My advice to anyone thinking about doing this run is to make your way as far forward as you can, having said that you will probably still be behind someone in fancy dress! Likewise my heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives, RIP Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Beginners welcome In full: This year will be my 4th attempt, having missed last year I'm looking forward to this year. I'm a 39 year old fun runner and found the first year rather daunting standing with all the club runners. If there are any fun runners out there don't be put off. EVERYONE is so supportive, both runners and marshalls. I've always found the other runners will always try and help you round during the times your legs just don't want to carry on. Thoroughly recommend this one, great friendly people entering, great route and great organisation. PB are also achievable - gone from 2hrs 20 to 1hr 59 over the years. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Weather made it tough this year In full: Having now completed my third GNR I realise that fast times are difficult due to numbers. My greatest bug-bear is the walkers who choose to start at the front of the race. This year I came across walkers just the other side of the over-bridge at the start. A greater effort must be made to get people starting from the right position. I am never going to set any records but would like to run! amongst equally paced athletes. All said and done I have arranged accommodation for 2006 and look forward to another good day, hopefully a bit cooler though. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: be prepared! In full: Have done the GNR for last 8 eight years - and yes it was the hottest. BUT - people need to take it seriously and "be prepared" -cannot be treated as a "fun run". Also if people had read their pre-race instructions they would have realised that there WAS water at the start - as shown clearly on the start map in their race pack. The organisers did a great job and should not be criticised for people not preparing and for unseasonal weather. My heartfelt sympathy to people who lost their loved ones. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Good race but to many runners In full: This was my first big race although not my first half marathon. Atmosphere was brilliant but the volume of runners/walkers I feel was too much. Was forced onto a roundabout causing me to fall and smash my head on the ground - caused purely by the volume of people trying to manouvre. I think the race organisers needs to reduce the numbers in future. Plenty of water available and what a great support those people with hoses were! Was pleased with time 2hr 20mins - not my best but happy as you have to take into consideration the number of people entering. Not sure if I would enter such a big race again, seeing people collapsing between miles 11-13 was terrible, my heart goes out to the families of the four men who died. Date of review: September 20, 2005