In short: big crowds,big support and more hills than i was told about !! ..great crack.. In full: i travelled alone but made many friends,start line was amazing,all those people,13.2 miles ahead to go and everyone was smiling !! you wont get a p.b. here though,not at my pace anyway !! Date of review: October 12, 2005
In short: Challenging course, good support. Too many (slow) people, bad start organisation In full: A lot of my points have been said better by other people, so I'll keep this brief.
Wave starting is a must, just to break people up. They completely failed to do this. They should set waves based upon peoples' estimated completion times. So many selfish people disregarded the finish time markers that I was constantly going around people who probably haven't run in their lives. And we started at the 2 hour marker.
I would recommend carrying your own drink on this race. If you missed the first drink station, you could have run half-way before getting one, I think. I had a reservoir backpack on with 2 litres of isotonic drink. I used a litre, and was very comfy all the way round. Better drinking that than just water. Nothing in your hands, and take the quickest route (middle) through the water stations.
The course has a lot of long inclines, but I was so stoked I didn't really feel that there were any really nasty inclines. Overtaking people distracted me a lot from thinking too hard.
The crowds were great, loads of support all the way through, and people offering munchies and all sorts. Great.
Felt very special with the Red Arrows and Red Falcons, and the TV coverage. Felt good to be part of something so big, but don't come here expecting to get a really fast time unless you get up close to the front of the pack. Everywhere else you'll be struggling for space. Date of review: October 12, 2005
In short: 1st 1/2 marathon & 1st GNR - bit or a mare though In full: My first GNR and 1/2 marathon, trained for over a year for it and found it much tougher than I thought. Great atmosphere and great organisation, but some points that I found: 1. I guessed that I walked 3-4 miles to get to the start line, parking South of South Shields and taking the tube (as recommended to me). Spending 30 mins on a packed train and then another hour or so literally packed like sardines waiting for the start wasn't ideal preparation for the race and I didn't get to do any stretching ! Not good. 2. Usual comment about walkers at the start - having just done the Great South Run, why didn't they have multiple wave starts for the GNR like they did in Portsmouth. Worked a treat there. 3. There were just too many people on the run. I reckoned afterwards that I must have worn myself out running around people and not running at my usual pace, or any consistent pace actually, despite a Garmin Forerunner to help me ! There was bairly an occasion when I was able to run unimpeded. 4. Water stations were great and plentiful - I don't think that the organisers could have accounted for the heat though, and I suffered badly over the last 4 miles despite drinking plenty and pouring water over my head every few hundred metres. 5. Re the heat, why does the race start so late - everyone is there ateast an hour in advance, I feel unnecessarily, and everyone except the elite runners were made to run through the hottest part of the day - a 9.30 start would make more sense ? 6. The last 2 miles, when so many were clearly in trouble, put a real downer on the event for me.
Lessons learnt: Don't do the GNR if you want a good time, or even a normal "training run" time. Use the buses to take you straight to the start without walking and don't get in the starting lanes until the race has already started - just climb over the fence near the start line somewhere. Drink lots and have a good time for the atmosphere, not to race.
Many sympathies to the families of those that lost their lives. Date of review: October 11, 2005
In short: Where is Gordan Ramsay when you need him he ran my target time last year!!!!!! In full: Went off way too quick considering how hot it was and wilted badly on John Reid Rd. Trying to use Nell McAndrew as a pace maker for six miles wasn't the brightest idea I've ever had as even whilst pregnant she was still way too fast. To be honest I threw the race plan out the window as I fancied getting my pic taken with her as I crossed the finishing line. In reality the cameraman would have needed a telescopic lens. Where is Gordan Ramsay when you need him he ran my target time last year!!!!!!
On a serous note the organisers need to sort the start out properly and get more water earlier on the course than there was this year. Once your dehydrated and feeling ill it is very hard to take on enough water to reveive yourself. I found myself running in a total daze before I stopped running and forced myself to drink a full bottle of water at each drinks station in the last 5 miles whilst walking before even contemplating running again. If I'd kept pushing myself I think I'd have ended up collapsing too. Thats the worst I've ever felt whilst running. God bless those who didn't make it or were seriously ill after the race. Date of review: October 7, 2005
In short: Great atmosphere, crowd superb, good goody bag In full: Why, why do so many wlakers start at the front. Great that they are doing it but please can they start at the back in future. i should not be having to run around walkers after only 1/2 mile, when I started in the sub 1.45 wave. Other than that you could not wish for a better race, looking forward to next year. Roll on the GSR Date of review: October 7, 2005
In short: should have been a water station at2.5 miles as it was such ahot day . i always carry water with me just in case .no water at the start which had been staTED CROWD BRILLIANT . WILL DO IT AGAIN In full: SOME RUNNERS WERE VERY IMPATIENT , COULD HAVE BEEN MORE SHOWERS Date of review: October 1, 2005
In short: Enjoyed it; but I should have used sunscreen. In full: It was cool/cold waiting but when the race started and with the sun out I wish I had worn a vest rather than a tee shirt. Plenty of water available and vaseline. Great atmosphere. Date of review: October 1, 2005
In short: Great atmosphere but too many runners made it hard to run quickly. In full: Excellent atmosphere with all the crowds and the sheer number of participants. But conversely that made it a slow race as I was constantly trying to fight my way around people walking! On the day, it was very warm so would have been better to have first water stop a little earlier. Date of review: October 1, 2005
In short: Hope to be there again next year In full: This was my first GNR and my first half marathon. The atmosphere was fantastic although it was very hot. Its not a run if you want a fast time - too many walkers too near the front, but the crowd are amazing all the way. And running over the Tyne bridge to the Red Arrows -Wow!! Mind that last mile along the Coast Road is never ending!
Would I do it again? DEFINITELY!! Date of review: September 29, 2005
In short: A great day out marred by tragic deaths of 4 fellow runners In full: My 15th GNR (what happened to the other 10 ?) and yet again the weather was (too) kind. This race has moved from June in the early days, through October, and now back to September and the weather has only been really bad once for me, which is amazing given it's in the NE of England. Forget PB's unless you are near the front (like lucky me 'cos I've done it so many times) but chip timing (introduced this year for the first time) at leat means your finish time is true running time and not 'since the gun went off'. Crowds this year seemed bigger than ever, especially on the finishing mile along the coast, and support throught was fantastic. If you have not done this race before sign up for 2006 now ! Date of review: September 29, 2005