In short: Not as crowded as I feared In full: Excellent organisation, fun crowds and atmosphere and great to tie in with the city games the previous day. Congestion wasn't too bad at all really - If you're a reasonable runner (< 50 mins for 10k) i'd make sure you get in the first wave (orange), head to the start ~ 30 mins before the gun and start much further forward than you might at a standard club race (we were ~ 20% back). Then the pace was fine and dodging slower people wasn't a great problem. Date of review: May 31, 2013
In short: Sort out the slow people!!! In full: Agreeing with many comments about having to weave through others. I can't understand why anyone who knows they will be going slowly would want to push their to near the front. People walking from the start as well!!! Hard to marshall but maybe a wave at the start just for people who can prove they have done a sub 40 minute 10k in the last 2 years. Link registration to the run britain website and it should be easy enough. I realise for many this is a once in a lifetime thing and done for charity but many do pay the huge fee to achieve a good time and go up against some of the best runners around. Having to be at the start line over an hour before the start to have any chance of a clear run isn't great especially in the baking sun. Other than that everything was well organised Date of review: May 29, 2013
In short: Dangerous due to participants failing to follow instructions In full: This was my first large entry race in over 20 years (barring National & Regional XC Champs). I consider myself a relatively slow (club) runner, usually at the back of the races in which I compete. I was in the second fastest wave and started near the back. Then the problems started. Not just the occasional idiot who had started off too near the front, but hundreds of them walking after 2 km (remember the starts are supposed to be graded according to your expected finishing times). This caused a number of falls that I could see and having spoken to St. John's afterwards (thought I might get some treatment on a dodgy calf strain as a preventative measure whilst waiting for fellow club members who were on finish line duties), they had to deal with many preventable accidents. My Garmin showed that I had run an extra 120 metres through having to weave around slow runners. The head organisers need to do something about allowing such idiots to run (or more correctly walk) endangering others. My suggestion is to have a wave purely for BAF Club members where it is possible to sanction against infringements. I had spent the previous day at a duathlon where anyone infringing the rules was disqualified by the race referee - there were a number of competitors who had moved up a wave, infringing the rules - they should have been pulled out. I will stick with events organised by running clubs (or the LDWA) who organise well-run value for money events. Date of review: May 28, 2013
In short: A fantastic day with spectators making it special! In full: This was the first time I took part in the GMR and after seeing it on TV last year, I thought I had a good idea what the day would be like. However, the amount of spectators around the course was amazing.
The course isn't exactly the most scenic, but then it seems to be a compromise between holding a run in a big city and not shutting the whole of the city centre down for it.
I only have two small gripes with the day...
1. The "information" staff.. I approached one with a question prior to the race and I must have picked the most unhelpful one out. Despite him having a map in his hand, I had a shrug and a I don't know answer.
2. Despite the information pack asking walkers to start to the back of a wave, not to walk in groups and keep to the left, the number of walkers who ignored these requests was staggering. I spent a lot of the race early on zig zagging through little gaps.
Having said that though, I'd still enter again despite the high entry price just for the atmosphere. Date of review: May 28, 2013
In short: Really enjoyed this one In full: Didn't know what to expect but as usual BUPA Great Run team delivered excellent organisation, the support on the course was amazing. The course itself is a bit dreary but I will make this a regular race Date of review: May 27, 2013
In short: Very accessible but wouldn't do it again In full: Positives: Brilliant charity village Great pre-race information Support from spectators was amazing Shower was lovely as was the water halfway and at the end A few interesting things to look at along the way The music was brilliant and pushed me along
Negatives: Really poor signage to the start Loads of friends and family in the warm-up area!! I wasn't sure I was in the right place Couldn't see or hear the warm-up and no room to do any of the exercises anyway 40 minutes in the hot sun waiting to start Again poor signage at the end and meeting area caused a huge block in the road
There was a lot of dodging to be done but I expected that as I was in the pink wave. It did mention walking to the left, which I did, but then runners were bumping into me going round the edge and nobody else was following the rule so I gave up in the end. I beat my predicted time, which was great and I couldn't fault most of the marshals. Date of review: May 27, 2013
In short: Nightmare Race In full: Ok positive first... Great atmosphere,marshalling,Pre-race entertainment Negatives Too busy,this is very much a race for beginners and fun runners or Walkers.If you find yourself in a slower wave, trying to avoid walkers and people taking up the whole road running in groups (some of us quicker runners would like to get past) An example was a girl in front of me just dropped her water bottle on the road,absolutely no concern about anyone behind her no race sense at all. The race is for the Elites or Charity Runners who race once a year and are oblivious to race etiquette I wouldn't do this race again as a PB would be difficult and it felt very corporate (even your medal was in your goody bag) once you have raced please go away !
In short: Big race atmosphere! In full: First time doing the GMR, and would do it again. I was in the orange wave, didn't feel congested or blocked, or may be it's because I expect what there is to expect from a big race.
Arrived by train, and asked a few marshalls/info guys where the baggage buses were, and I was very surprised that most of them can't tell me where they are, even though I was showing them my map that was sent by Great Run! Some of them had the same map, knew the name of the road, but couldn't tell me where it is! It's of no consolation or help that there were poor signage to where the baggage buses were until you were quite near them! That's my only gripe, that the info people weren't very helpful, despite many of them around!
Plenty of toilets about, hardly any queues unless you wanted to go about 15 minutes before each pen shuts.
Where we stood in the pen, we couldn't see or hear the warm up, tried very hard to follow, but eventually people around me gave up, and we did out own warm up!
The course was flat. Got my PB of 46:23, so pleased.
It was surreal as we walked back to the train station with our medals and T-shirts, walking by the later waves who haven't started their run yet!
Great atmosphere, great support. I love big races, so would do it every year now. Date of review: May 27, 2013
In short: Hot Hot Hot In full: This is the 6th year I have done this race. I love it because it is the race that started me running. The centre of Manchester is full of runners of all shapes and sizes and the weather this year was brilliant until the running started. Coming back up Chester Road was the not that pleasant,, hats off to the firemen and Army doing it in full kit!! This is a great race to get you started, it's not full of racing whippets, I finished in the middle of the pack in 1.05.13, I tend to be towards the back in smaller races. The wave system seems to work,I am sure some people exaggerate their times but most seem honest. Date of review: May 27, 2013