In short: A good day, but increasing numbers causing problems. In full: Problems at the start with getting into the pens, but did get across start line quicker than last year. I have the same issues with walkers, all credit to them, but give the runners a chance to get away. Not a PB this time, found it a bit warm.
And apart from the drop onto the coast road where are the downhill bits, as per the course profile???? Think this event is a bit too big now, what about limiting the numbers?
Not a PB this year found it a bit warm. Ill be back next year though!
In short: The start of the race was a battle field, but i believe the new wave system enabled the race to quicken earlier. In full: This race i believe is all about charity and a great day out. So you should expect slow runners/walkers and people in your way. It is not a course for a PB. The local folk along the way make it. Came in 7 mins below half marathon time, not as bad as predicted, but hey, its the GNR and what a day out!
Transportation for spectators is shocking, according to my other half. Took nearly three hours from start to finish. Car park at the finish line takes hours to get out - but you are warned about this before hand so no complaints! Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Shambolic start. Needs much better marshalling. In full: Having a red number, I expected a pretty clear run from the start. I was stood in the pen for nearly 2 hours before the gun too. But for some reason, when the gun went, and the marshals managed to untie the rope in front of the pen, there were already a couple of thousand people in front of me, as the marshals had been letting pretty much anyone into the yellow and white pen in front. This meant a really slow first couple of miles, by which time the green number runners had caught up and were battling through. Add to this the lack of pre- and post-race signposting, shambles of serve-yourself double decker buses for bags, rather than lorries, and lack of anywhere to change, not to mention the total gridlock, when even the Nirvana Travel coaches weren't allowed to go down the roads they expected to go down, and I felt that after 26 years it would be a lot better organised. I also thought that the three mile marker was misplaced. And look, I know the geordies are hard - after all, they don't even wear shirts to football matches in December. But only they could come up with an almost entirely uphill half marathon course. And don't wave a map that says there are lots of downhills, because I refuse to believe it. And above all, I absolutely insist that none of the above has anything at all to do with the massive PW I achieved yesterday. Honest. Nice t-shirt though... Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: An amazing experience! Wonderful! In full: This was my first half marathon and what an experience. The route is lined with supporters and music and wonderful good will. Although the route is motorway and pretty boring, the atmosphere and support carries you along and it goes so quickly. Would definitely do again. Only downside is that lots of people walk from the start so you are constantly having to weave in and out. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: JUST GREAT! In full: It was my first ever race, I have been running 5KM for past 3 months in the mornings and this was my first race ever. It was brilliant. My position was 7205 and time 1hr and 54 min.
The atmosphere was wonderful, with people cheering etc... Very easy to run past people, etc not too crowded.
Only downside was transportation after the race... Buses and metro has about 2 hr quoues, making me miss my train to London what was a downside, but hey, it was wicked!
In short: Great day In full: Second GNR. Much better organised than last year, especially at the start. Achieved a PB and got back to Newcastle on the Metro before the rain and with no delays. The Red Arrows at the start and the finish were fantastic. Long way to travel from Cambridge though - time to try something else next year. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Organisation at start is atrocious - runners safety is compromised, HSE could have a field day with what was going on yesterday! In full: It was 7 years since I last did the GNR and I really noticed the effects of the increase in runner numbers. The start was a disgrace and needs sorted out, perhaps as per FLM with 2 or 3 start areas and the race merging at some later point. Runner safetly is not only an issue at the start but the whole way round (those who stop suddenly, walk, etc - as well as those looking to make up time and weaving in and out to get past folk cause untold chaos, most of them without even realising it!!).
Finish fairly poorly organised - if they wanted to keep the finishing line clear why did they have people waiting to take your chip off you so close to the finish line, these people could easily have been another 100m back from the finish!!
And so much for extra Metro trains (supposedly every 3 mins) back from South Shields. They were at least every 10-12 mins if not longer!
Agree with many of the comments posted here that the GNR team need to make their mind up if this is an "event" or a "run" - runner safety is being compromised greatly by the numbers they allow to enter.
But despite all of what I've said and a miserable run and PW - it is still a great day and the people of Tyneside come out to support it year and after year and make the GNR what it is - a great day out! Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: great race & atmosphere, but not enough toilets and transport In full: My first GNR, really enjoyed the atmosphere and the crowds were more fun than annoying, though everybody should know by now not to run this race for speed and PB! Mayor gripes: many, many more toilets should be there at the start (there is a whole empty field available!), many many more accessible bins for discarding water and lucozade bottles should be available and many many more trains/ferrys/buses should be there to take people away from south shields. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Good day but infrastructure lets it down In full: Very glad that I took part but the infrastructure at South Shields leaves a lot to be desired. The Metro was ridiculous and the buses not an awful lot better. Organisation of the day was good but I really think it would make sense to put in a walking lane. Weaving in and out of people who, totally fairly, choose to walk the event makes running very difficult, and the hilly nature of the course make it hard enough as it is. Please make this more user friendly for everyone and give the walkers their own portion of the road. Date of review: October 2, 2006