In short: Cracked half of GNR problem In full: Always had 2 issues with GNR Crowds and starting system Cost/value for money This year , thanks to my wife, I managed to start with fast paced club runners in Zone A, right at the front. The result was a stress free beginning with no pushing, ducking, dodging or diving to stay out of the way of everyone else. On top of that, the chance to run at my pace and enjoy the day. The running side went really well, I felt good all the way round, unlike a lot of people who seemed to suffer badly in the heat. Value for money is a different thing. This event has a very steep entry fee, rakes in cash by getting sponsors to pay for the association. Even with all that, this is one of the poorest goody bags going with a medal, mass produced cotton T shirts and a few other items most likely supplied free ( or even paid for) by manufacturers. 50p off Cif vouchers anyone? Then there are the 'celebrities' many of whom seem to be looking for some free publicity. In contrast, as an example of grass roots commitment, there was Dame Tanni Grey Thompson out on the course helping out at drinks station. Its thanks to people like her that many of us stay inspired to run, train and compete. Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Newcastle and the North East did themselves proud.... In full: The best part is the atmosphere as the whole of the north east came out to support or so it seemed! Only better atmosphere is the London marathon. Locals were using hosepipes to cool runners down, giving out water, playing music and v supportive.
Urinals were a good idea.
Also plenty of water at starting pens and even at Metro stations!
Downside was far too many runners - no hope of a PB if you have been truthful about your finishing time! The roads at various points are packed particularly at the start and finish.
They need to ban ipods etc as saw too many ambulances trying to get to people, but couldn't get through runners listening to music! This is a critical issue and they need to ban them now. Also if you are trying to pass people they are unable to hear you.
Take your own toilet roll! Simply not enough toilet roll. Felt sorry for the ladies.
The entry fee of £45 is v expensive for a 1/2 marathon. They know they will get enough entries so the price can be as high as they want it to be!
Technical t-shirt should be included in the goody bag.
The entry fee should include either a day pass on the Metro or free travel on the buses!
Left feeling that I got robbed by the organisers at every opportunity!
Also if you defer you don't get any of the £45 entry fee and have to pay all over again next year - is this the spirit of running?
Great atmosphere, but just too many runners. I expected more from it all! Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Amazing day In full: I lost my GNR cherry this year and it was well worth it. The atmosphere alone makes it and the sight of the sea just before 12 miles spurs you on. I would recommed this to anyone to do...even just once. Date of review: September 21, 2009
In full: First half marathon I have done since Sheffield 1989 and I thought it was fantastic. I agree with another poster about the BUPA boost at about 10 miles - perhaps they should have one of those sections every mile or so. The best bit though for me was hearing my wife screaming encouragement at me about 400m from the line - god knows why but it brought a tear to me eye. On top of all that I raised about £1500 for Alzheimers. What a day ! Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: unmissable experience In full: This is one of the races that's changed the face of running and made it possible for 1000s and 1000s of people like me to choose to run a half marathon - if you're fast you probably won't set a PB but that is missing the point - just enjoy the satisfaction of being one of the 50,000! Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Great support - but crowded In full: I had a great time, especially giving extra sweaty high fives to the kids. But, the first mile or so was a nightmare. I was in Zone B about 200 metres back from start line. One guy I spoke to cheerfully admitted to lying about his expected time so that he could get over the start line quicker. I bet he wasn't the only one and I even passed a couple running hand in hand. Things got much better after the crowds thinned a bit, but I'm guessing this will never be a run with PB potential. Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: It's The Best In full: Every year I do this I enjoy it more! Some people are put off by the size and whinge about not being able to get a PB but there's more to running than simply trying to get a PB every race! There entry price is steep and the goody bag is poor but people of the North East take a bow: once again you have proved you are very special. Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Without doubt "Simply the Best" In full: Twelfth time of running this event in succession and i'll keep coming back year on year (assuming my body can take it!). Yes, it's expensive and yes it is crowded, but the organisers do the best job possible and they just can't please all of the people all of the time. Goodie bags and t-shirts were a little below pair this year so i hope this gets remedied for next time round. Crowd support was immense and all the charities and individual stories behind the people running the GNR really makes this something special and not just a standard half marathon distance that people come to run a time for. Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Thanks, but no thanks In full: It's a shame that the world's largest half marathon suffers from such a terrible course. Boring hardly describes it. The atmosphere and support (in places) makes up for it, and it does have one of the best closing miles in running. But the goody bag? When you're paying £45? Purlease. At least put in a technical tee. Date of review: September 21, 2009