In short: THE Great Run In full: Organisers: My only criticism of the race, is getting away from South Shields at the end. I was on a Nirvana coach with a "preferred route" into Newcastle. It took 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the train which meant I missed mine and it cost me alot of money (had to buy a new ticket) and made me not get home until midnight! That's it for the organisers! Competitors: Cutting people up in the bottlenecks and especially at the finish, dangerous, please stop it, save the PB attempt and sprint finnish for another race. Walking in the middle of the flow of runners. Leaping over the fence at the start; what if the fence had come down? Just daft. Wrong coloured numbers in the wrong place at the start. Grabbing a drink and then stopping dead. It's all too easy to blame the organisers for some of these things but these are all caused by people being inconsiderate to others. When there's 50k on the hoof it's difficult to manage them all, people just need to follow the organisers advice a bit better. Newcastle-Gateshead-South Shields: Superb, great atmosphere, smiles, encouragement, kindness, humour. Thankyou! Memory of the day will always be of a great event of great scale, with superb atmosphere. And of those guys somewhere around mile 10 (?) shouting out in deepest North East accents "Get yer free beer, free beer anybody? Wayy! Ah so ye on the telly this morning!!" Brilliant!! Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Amazing atmosphere makes up for a V V V long day! In full: A great experience and really glad I have done it but not sure if I would hurry back but that is mainly due the hours & hours of queuing (in traffic, for toilets etc etc) which make it a very long day if you are not local. The start is a little chaotic but I am not sure what the organisers could do to improve it - I think a lot of people must have lied when they gave their predicted time! Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: A great event but only a race for a select elite few In full: This review is in two sections - one for the event, and one for the race. The former is a mass of runners, supporters, charity stands, people in costumes, bands playing all sorts, fantastic crowds lining the route from start to finish handing out drinks, sweets & high fives a-plenty, constantly cheering and hollering, the Red Arrows doing a fly past over the Tyne Bridge just as you hit it, the celeb spotting, reading peoples moving tributes to loved ones on their shirts, runners of all abilities just enjoying a great day out through a fabulous city and being made to feel really really special. For this alone the GNR was superb and I would def do again. As a race however, it can't match these dizzy heights, unfortunately for many of the same reasons described above. The numbers are far too great to give all but a few the chance of a PB. And whilst it is a fast course (I think so anyway, was only just over a minute off my PB) you have to get a clear run at it, and dodging slower runners & walkers for the first 5miles takes its toll on any PB attempt. Also, were it not for the great crowd support it'd be a bit dull running along what is essentially 13miles of dual carriageway (the coastal road down into Sth Shields not withstanding - that was superb!). Definitely do again but for the experience and not the time. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: first timer but very impressed overall! In full: this was my first time doing a half marathon, as the furthest id run previously was 10 miles in training so i was expecting a tough day! Dont get me wrong,the race was hard and a lot more hilly than id expected for various reasons!! i came in around the 1hr 54min mark,but what really impressed me and got me through those hellish hilly stages was the crowds who were brilliant! a great day,wud have liked a better time but theres always next year,the main thing is it was an experience ill never forget...again for various reasons!! Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: New twist to the start procedure but still needs tweaking. In full: This was my 9th GNR in succession. Great atmosphere as always, with top crowd support. Timing chips should have been introduced years ago as even though i starting at the back of the orange numbers and passed what seemed to be 25,000 people I still managed a time of 1:31, a little disappointed as this is 5 minutes over my pb of 1:26 on the course!!! However I’d have been gutted registering an official time of 1:55 which is what the race clock showed as I crossed the finish line. Despite what appeared to be very mixed abilities in each pen there didn’t seem to be as much slowing down on the course as in pervious years due to congestion (I may be wrong), particularly just as you get to the over/under pass a mile from the start, so I think the new system worked in that sense. But will the organisers please, please, please have a sub 1:30/1:40 category just after the elite runners for people who can prove their ability with a previous qualifying time and satisfy the more able club runners who want to race the course.
Congestion out of South Shields and heading south is pretty inevitable due to the large numbers involved. Lets face it London has fewer runners but still has problems coping with a mass event like the marathon and look at the transport infrastructure there.
This is definitely one you’ll either love or hate.