In short: LOVED it! In full: Atmosphere was electric. No part of the course is lacking support. So well organised but a bit of a trek for the last waves to the start line.the start is a little slow but overall it's a flat to downhill race so you can catch up missed time quite easily. Not particularly scenic but the last drop to the sea is gorgeous. Great amount of water, energy drinks and people giving out jelly babies etc along the way. Just be careful not to tread on a bottle as you're running. It gets pretty full out there. The wait for the metro back can be a but long. Overall this is well up there for the best race out there. Date of review: May 11, 2015
In short: All hype I'm afraid In full: I actually did it in 2014 but this isn't on the RW site. It is all hype. Its my local race so I was really looking forward to it. Nearly missed the start with the longest toilet queues I have ever seen, some runners may have missed the start by about 30 minutes....once you pass over the Tyne bridge it is dual carriageway all the way until the coast. Too big, literally couldn't move and got a PW (personal worst). Bus back from Shields to Newcastle got lost and nearly attempted to take a double decker under a low bridge....before dropping us in the middle of Newcastle, much to the surprise of non-locals who had no idea where they were. After having ran the great South run which sets its runners off in separate discrete waves, I was very disappointed. Date of review: October 15, 2014
In short: Not Quite What I Expected In full: Wanted to run this one more than any other, as it's the greatest Half in the world. Had some fantastic support from the people of Newcastle, I've never seen such a friendly crowd. What let it down though, was the overnight accomodation, we were directed to the wrong building for the sleepover, a last minute change of venue meant we had no where to park, they kept the lights on all night for health and safety making it hard to sleep, and they closed the sports centre at 5pm on the day of the race, making it difficult to retrieve our belongings in time. The company that provided the sleepover were also supposed to provide us with transport to the city but we were unable to locate the bus that we'd paid for, and when I phoned them the next day they simply blamed us for not looking harder. A near riot at the baggage buses meant that the police had to be brought in to control the very angry crowd after their bags were taken off the buses and thrown into a big pile in a tent. The BBC only really cared about the elite runners, so don't tell your relatives to look out for you on the box, they'll be wasting their time. Hotel accomodation is usually booked up before the ballot. Recommend parking in South Shields, sleep in your car, take a bus to the start the next day and leave your baggage in the boot, one person I know did that, it worked out well. Not a race I will be running again, but thanks to the people of Newcastle for your support. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: Electric race! Do it at least once! In full: LOVE this race. Big crowds, celebs, the Red Arrows, televised live on the BBC, fantastic fun whether you're going for a PB or just wanting to do your first half. It's a big race, very big - about 45,000 runners, but it copes well (you start on the motorway), plenty of space, facilities (not too long to wait for the loos, no queue for bag drop). A long wait before you actually get over the line, though, but there's plenty of anticipation.
The route has some great parts, such as over the Tyne Bridge (early on - after a few miles) and through some of the nicer residential areas, but a lot is on motorways and dual carriage ways, and through industrial areas. Somewhat undulating, but nothing major.
Best bit is mile 10 onwards when the crowds really come out and depending on your time the Red Arrows are doing (another) display which you can see a long way off. The final mile is amazing, a nice downhill and then flat along the seafront in front of huge crowds.
Finish area is very well organised, with spacious areas for collecting drinks, goodie bags, tag removal etc before entering the Charity and Runner's village. Only drawback was some of the baggage buses were unable to get through to the finish due to the emergency services needing the road so some of the bags were late (I had a bit of a wait for mine).
If you are travelling and staying over, make the most of the Saturday to watch the City Games and enjoy the kid's race, expo and pasta party - the city is practically taken over by the Great North Run! If you get a hotel in the city centre, most hotels will lay on minibuses to the start, or get a taxi if you don't want to walk there about 2-3 miles. The walk from the finish to South Shields is easy and takes about 20 minutes, but beware the very long queues for the metro, and don't expect to be able to sit down on the rammed-full train back to the city centre!
I think everyone should do this once, and if you love crowds, try and go for it more than once, it's a lot of fun! Date of review: February 3, 2013
In short: FANTASTIC In full: My first experience of any kind of organised race and was I Overwhelmed what a great experience for both myself and family who came to watch Definately me doing more of these!!!!!!!!! Date of review: January 17, 2013
In short: The GNR is an institution of Mass Participating Brilliance In full: Been doing it every year for the last 9 years. Around 50k runners so it can bottle-neck in a couple of places but on the whole one of the most important races on Uk calender. Love it. Average runners watch the last 3 miles - they can suck the life out of your legs! Try and save a bit to get you thru Mile 11 Date of review: October 23, 2012
In short: Always Special In full: Still my favourite, and always will be. It was a bit cold and wet this year but this didn't dampen the atmosphere and the supporters were out with enough energy to fuel a power station. If you ever do one race in your life, do this one. Date of review: October 17, 2012