In short: It's a great race - one year they'll get the weather though. In full: This is a super race, very enjoyable with crowds cheering all the way (save down the final 2 miles, as they have more sense than to brave the sea front). This is the killer stretch, a west bound run straight into the prevailing westerly wind (and for the past years rain). I've heard complaints about parking - well Portsmouth is an island and there are only two real routes on and off by road, so with 19,000 plus runners it's going to get busy. The parking nearest the start is surrounded by the race route - but all entrants are warned about this. All entrants are encouraged to park away from the course; it's advice worth heeding. My one gripe is that the non-elite starting waves do not seem to be based on estimated finishing times: so anyone looking for a PB does have to get round the fun runners and the costumed. Either that or many entrants have vastly inflated their abilities. Date of review: November 6, 2008
In short: Racing Great, Parking abismal In full: The race itself was fabulous. The bands really helped lift the spirits. Trying to get off the Commom was a joke. The "attendents" caused as many problems as they solved! Shame, spoilt a good race feel. Date of review: November 6, 2008
In short: results were poor In full: not worth doing this race, i was put in the wrong wave start which i managed to get sorted then when the results were first published my name was no where to be seen. after numerous phone calls i eventually appeared in the results with a time 7 mins slower than i ran even though i had told them what time i ran. Date of review: November 5, 2008
In short: Good but some improvements needed In full: Love the course, love the atmosphere and love Portsmouth. This year the number allocations seemed random, didn't matter too much to the likes of me but not fair on the much quicker runners to be held up. I just went and stood in the zone I thought I should be in, no-one cared and I knew I wasn't going to hold anyone up. The parking on the common is still a joke, with comments in the magazine like "we have listened to feedback from last year", they put some people in reflective jackets in the car park who didn't seem to actually do anything in terms of traffic control and just stood there smoking cigarettes and chatting each other up - ironically it took me much much longer to get off the common than it did to run the 10 miles....! ;-) Could have done with a bit more than a bag of dried apple in the goody bag to sustain me during the 3 hours it took to get out of Pompey - yes I could have parked somewhere else, for an easier getaway but this was where the official signs lead to. I love this race, but am debating if I should do a more local race on the same day next year instead. Date of review: November 5, 2008
In short: Great atmosphere and excellent crowds In full: Shame that the allocation of start positions appears to be entirely random. Put down a 1hr 30 time and found myself starting from the back of white C. Spent first two miles passing thousands of slow runners/walkers so pobably added and extra half mile to the run in zig-zagging accross the road and pavements. I appreciate that lots are doing this run as a one of for charity but starting at the front and then having to walk after the first mile doesn't help the rest of us looking for a reasonable time! Date of review: November 4, 2008
In short: Fantastic race made better by supportive local people and marshalls. In full: Haven't done the GSR since 2005 (it was sunny that year!) but definitely worth getting up early and travelling for. Everyone really friendly and excellent organisation. Bit of congestion in some places on the course but to be expected with such a popular race. Have already put next year's in the diary. Thank you Great Run! Date of review: November 4, 2008
In short: One for the calendar ...! In full: Great race and excellent organisation. Surely, one year they will have good weather?! Thank you to all concerned especially the spectators! Date of review: November 4, 2008
In short: Cold, wet and windy but worth it! In full: Positives: Great atmosphere, fantastic support, good route (nice and flat), seaside start and finish, lots of celebs and elite runners.
Negatives: Weather, too many runners (way too congested meaning a PB was out of the question), suggested parking in city centre was a good 2 mile walk away, suggested arrival time in Portsmouth was 2 hours before the race started so we got very cold waiting.
Overall, a great day though. Date of review: November 4, 2008
In short: Great run; crap weather In full: My first GSR but will definitely do again. Lots of people there but did not feel restricted once we were off. Support was excellent and the organisation was spot on. Special mention for the car park on the Common - we were out and on our way within 10 mins which is pretty good considering the numbers. The course is very flat (hardly a hill - not one of these 'flat' courses which mean the regular runners sprint up the hills and the rest of us suffer) and therefore good for beginners. The weather was poor, though - cold, rainy and blowy on the front. No problem once one starts going but definitely worth having a binbag or equivalent at the start to keep warm. Recommended for a beginner runner as a bit less severe than a full half. Date of review: November 3, 2008