In short: Good Race - Bad transport In full: Race itself is good, well organised, but why on earth do they not put on more trains at South Shields? I finished race at 12-45, but I didnt get to Newcastle central till 5.30, because the Newcastle transport system cant cope. I think they need to find a different location!
In short: Disapointed In full: Got there early with no problems,shuttle buses fine. Should have been on the start line as requested with loads of time to spare but an hour queue for the porta-loo put paid to that!! I got to the green zone at 9.30 and if some kind soul hadn't helped me and a few others under the barrier I think we'd have been forced to go to the back. The race itself I didn't enjoy,spent the whole time having to concentrate totally on keeping moving safely without being tripped etc while negotiating people who were slower or who had stopped.I reckon the constant weaving in and out of people probably put an extra 10 mins on my time!! Many thanks by the way to the person who grabbed my arm and stopped me falling when a girl in front dropped something and bent down without warning !!My only other gripe is with the traffic marshalling on leaving. We joined the queue from the sea front car park at 2.50pm ,a policeman told us to join the queue on the coastal road as we were from out of town. We never saw any police after that? We sat in the queue for over an hour hardly moving before we reached the first roundabout where two queues met and there was no police directing the traffic? This was the same all the way out when obviously whats required was some traffic mamagment to try and keep it moving ? It took us 5 hours to get home ,a journey that only took 2 in the morning? Sadley this will probably put me off doing it again? Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Brilliant atmosphere but don't do it if you just want a PB In full: In brief:
Start was very congested, and had to overtake walkers after 1 mile - they should be further at back of field.....10 miles along a duel carriageway is not that great for scenery, but running over tyne bridge was good......goody bag ok, medal is nice touch. Took 2 hours to get out the car park on way home...would do it again for the atmosphere but not for improving my time! Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: A race? An event? Someone needs to decide. In full: What to say about Brendan & Cos little earner? The start still needs to be sorted out. Even with a red race number , I was at the back of the pen and had to get past walkers in white , pink & green numbers in the first couple of miles , never mind celebrity walkers who were let loos ahead of everyone so we could cattch them up near the bridge. At one point the very officious stwards were telling other red runners that the pen was full and to get into the green pen , at the same time, people were crawling under the fence. Whatever you say , people really want to do this run. As for the run itself , it was, as ever , an example to everyone else in how to organise an event. Mind you , I had paid my £40 plus £37.50 for 3 years guaranteed entry so it would be foolish to expect anything else as they have so much money sloshing around. The course itself will only be there for pbs if they can sort out the start system but I guess that's a secondary issue to the organisers - it doesn't get them more TV exposure. The support remains strong locally and the last mile or so is, althoughg long , worth the wait. Scenery wise, the only other highlight is the bridge. Will I do it next year , well I still have 1 year left on my guaranteed entry but its a real experience in spite of niggles. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Atmosphere is amazing, but the numbers running it make it frustrating In full: My second half marathon and gnr. The pens at the start made for slightly less congestion in race, but too many slow runners/walkers start at the front of the field. It would be ideal if you had to submit a recent half marathon time in order to start in the greens/reds. I started in the orange and was impressed when I crossed the startline after 10mins, but frustrated with having to overtake so many throughout the whole race! I agree with an earlier comment - that it is more of an event than a race, its a shame it can't be both. The organisation was great though - I had no problems with the baggage buses or toilet queues. It all went smoothly. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: My first GNR but more fun to watch than run! In full: Have always been entranced by the coverage on the tv and swore to do it one day. I did it finally. The start was ma-houss-ive and crowded and I couldn't see a thing, did'nt hear a gun. Had a real off day and by the time I was going past people watching weren't frankly that interested. Got cheese off with scallywags jumping on half empty water bottles too. Horrendous traffic at finish. Other than all that I had a great time but my hubby spectating had a great time and wants to do it next year... I'll hold the bag next year.... Oh and a big 'booooo' to my charity who couldn't be bothered to send me a t-shirt to run in Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: More of an event than a race. In full: Scenery: Couldn't really see as there was so many peolpe around me! What I did catch was OK. Missed the Tyme bridge, stuck in the middle with no view at all.
PB potential: No chance unless yo are in the very front. By 1 mile there were people walking in the middle of the road, all with Orange numbers. If you're gonna walk that soon then you should be further back at the start. Atmosphere: Fantastic. Never been to such a well supported event. Orange pieces, biscuits, unofficial water stops, hoses and soooooooooo many high fives. Unlikely to be bettered. Organisation: This event may have gotten a bit too popular. As a race it's too big. As an event/charity fundraiser it's perfect. If you want to run it as a race then you may well be dissappointed. i was. But I know better now and will stick to smaller races. Value: Nice T-Shirt, good medal, a few bars and a host of leaflets. Useful bag. OK, better tha some, worse than some. Beginner-friendliness: Definately, do this as a first and you will be converted to running.
From a personal point of view it was a PW, but i had no expectations of getting a PB so perhaps I shouldn't complain. My first (and probably last) GNR so to find so many less serious runners doing the course was a shock. All the halves I've done before were races not events. I'd been warned about the numbers but ignored the advice and did it as an experience. But to find groups of people holding hands and walking at 3 miles was a shock. The organisers have a hard job so to expect every person to accurately provide a time they hope to do and keep to it is not their fault but I feel that anyone with no half experience should either do another half first to get an accurate time so they are not fooling themselves or start in front of those who are acknowledged as walkers.
But then again, it's not a race, it's an event/experience. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Second time at the GNR - last year I ran as hard as I could, this year I loved it. In full: Last year the GNR was my first half marathon, I was worried whether I could make it round on concentrated so much on making for me what was a good time that I forgot to enjoy the race.
Several half's later experience has shown me that the GNR is not a PB course so I just decided to enjoy it (and spend as much time on feet as possible - as a training run to the Chicago marathon).
Consequently, due to a mix up in race numbers, I started right at the very back with a slower friend and it took us 40 minutes to get over the start line.
But, the fun to be had at the back is amazing and quite uplifting continuously passing others.
This is definitely how I will run this one again next year. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Was fantastic - my first half marathon. ATmosphere was amazing - I'd do it again for that alone. Only bad thing was metro queues - considering this was the 'recommended option' for getting back into town there were nowhere near enough trains. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Quantity of hills was a surprise! In full: First GRN and only second 1/2 marathon.
Start was a mess, should have directed runners along the top road to the bag buses and then back to start area on the motorway. Really found the amount of hills a big surprise. The picture on the pocket guide seems mis-leading! Water stations very good and plentiful, bands excellant and support good in many areas. Don't expect to get away from the finish quickly though!! Date of review: October 2, 2006