In short: Excellent Race and very well organised. Childrens Races were an added bonus In full: Set in the grounds of Stapleford Park the race is worth it just to gain access to the grounds of this five star hotel(often frequented by celebrities)Flat course with an undulation a definate PB potential. Superb organisation by Stilton Striders and the childrens races are a distinct bonus making this a good event for all the family. Date of review: September 28, 2004
In short: Live and learn - start nearer the front next year In full: This is a great event. 2004 was my first time and I just didn't beleive how difficult it would be to get past slower runners. However, the main thing is to take it all in. The start (get there early), the Tyne Bridge, the local support (which is awesone and includes offers of beer in South Shields!) and the last mile - the shortest and longest mile. The crowd makes it short, but it is still a mile. At least in 2004 the wind was at our backs. Run it, enjoy it and be happy with whatever time you come home in. Date of review: September 28, 2004
In short: Generally good, well organised and supported by locals. Only real problem is congestion caused by so many runners being unleashed at once In full: Great event. Very special to be a part of it. Bizarre running along a motorway! Apart from Tyne bridge and Finish, not an exciting course but this not important for such an event. Didn't expect a PB but some more organised runner staggering would be good (though probably impossible to enforce). Some nice touches like the music and the locals with hoses, oranges and the guys giving away beer (though not my energy drink of choice). I parked in Newcastle near St James Park (1m from race start), after a slick drive in from A1 junction north of city centre. Had stayed at Scotch corner and drive in took about an hour from there. Got a bus from finish to Newcastle station which avoided most traffic. Only real traffic nightmare was A1 home. Date of review: September 28, 2004
In short: absolutely loved this fun run ideal for beginners and kids In full: this was my first ever race and i felt so welcomed and there were so many other slowcoaches like me it was really nice. at one point a woman with a dog overtook me and i only just beat a couple in their 70's. i ran with my son in the pushchair and was not the only one doing so.
but it wasn't just beginners , there were also fast serious runners at the front who seemed to be getting great times. the medal and goody bag was excellent. the scenery great right on the cliff edge. there is a cafe right near too for afterwards.
the km markers and clock and marshalling were all excellent and the marshalls took such care with beginners as much as front runners, i was so impressed.
really good memory as my first race well done organisers! Date of review: September 28, 2004
In short: ok but not as much fun as a small club beginner 5k In full: this was my second ever race. i was disappointed that , although aimed at beginners, there was a very steep hill at the start. the water provided was inadequate and on a hot day would have been disastrous. there was no race clock at the finish and the km markers were not there. thank god someone shouted to me at the half way point as i was ready to give up. i was a slow beginner and didn't really enjoy this race even though there were plenty slower than me and loads of walkers too. the photographer was also disappointing . the loos at the start were also wholly inadequate. the route chosen was one of the least fun parts of the town . surely this could be improved. the race organisers were also unhelpful on the phone refusing to give out route info before the race making it difficult for me to make arrangements to meet my family .
on the other hand, it was nice to see so many women turn out and i would have probably thought this was a good race, had i not run in an excellent 5k fun run a month earlier where everything was so much better arranged. Date of review: September 28, 2004
In short: Superb support from start to finish and the crowd make the 13 miles enjoyable In full: Yet again a superb race from start to finish. The support you receive from other runners and the crowd makes it a race worth doing. I would recommend this race to anyone.
In short: A MUST DO EVENT! But beware of the walkers! In full: Nothing could prepare me for the amount of people at the start. Walking down the hill to the back of the start it looked like something out of the Charlton Heston Film - Ben Hurr! Managed to climb the barriers at the 8 min mile point, heard the gun, then wait for about 6 or 7 mins before a chance to high 5 Kelly Holmes. The first mile walk/jog (Oggi, Oggi, Oggi, Oi ,Oi, OI! (in the tunnel))- 14 mins ish put paid to any aspirations of a PB. The next 5 miles was spent looking for a gap in the crowds to increase my pace. My memories of the day will be the walk to the start, the inclines, the fantastic support, the Red Arrows just above my head as i ran on to the Tyne Bridge the final decent to the last mile(wasn't expecting that bit)then the last mile to the finish wanting that Blue Gantry to be closer than it was... Pleased with my time 1:53:50... The Downside Too many people walking/running who obviously should have been nearer the back, I know they are doing it for a good cause and I applaud them but no where in the race pack or on the course does it advise the slower finishers to either start nearer the back or at least to walk to the side! 3 hours back to digs and the 7 hour journey back to Bristol on the same night! Deffo do this again next year But will stay 2 nights and use Easy Jet!
In short: This is what memories are made of In full: Really good atmosphere, very steep hill at the end thank goodness for the hay bails. No problem if you want to walk but maybe keep to one side, I came up to three walkers in a row chating away to each other, was like running into a brick wall. Date of review: September 28, 2004
In short: First half-marathon, incredible moving experience but agree start does need improvement In full: I never dreamt in a million years I would be able to run this but I did, the whole way ! Found it extremely emotional, crossed the finish line with my best friend of over 20 years and promptly both burst into tears! The organisation was superb, we had no issues getting dropped off or picked up, the atmosphere was incredible and thanks so much to all the locals particularly the bloke with a hosepipe hosing us down from on top of a bus shelter at about 8 miles - top people! My only real gripe was the same as everyone elses - I know I am a relatively slow runner so I started back at the 10 min mile mark but then found it extremely frustrating to be having to dodge round people who were walking from the off. Hats off to anyone who does it but please start at the right place and maybe the organisers could look at laning off a bit for people wanting to walk, otherwise things could get nasty as people get more and more frustrated. It would be a shame for anything to ruin what truly is a fantastic day. Date of review: September 28, 2004
In short: Superb support from start to finish - the crowd make the 13 miles achievable In full: Superb race from start to finish. The support you recveive from other runners and the crowd makes it a race worth doing. Perhaps not a race for achieveing a pb but just particpating in a race with that amount of people is over whelming. The Supporters were amazing and keep you going over the tougher parts of the course - i would recommend this race to anyone. Date of review: September 28, 2004