In short: Great, for a reason In full: the atmosphere at this race is bar none and so is the organisation, given the fact it has over 40,000 starters. This is my second year in a row, and I'd do it every year if I could get in. There are some inclines, but no massive hills, and the local support is truly fabulous. Where else do people line the streets with jelly babies, orange segments, water, Coke, hosepipes and ice pops! only downside is the water, dispensed in stupidly big bottles that didn't have the lid off. Spent 5 mins trying to get into one then gave up and took water off the locals instead. Plastic cups next year please! Date of review: September 20, 2010
In short: Great race shame about the sugar free drinks In full: Really fantastic atmosphere as usual. The locals and bands are great and really get you going.
Major downside was that the organisers decided it would be a nice idea to suplly only sugar free drinks. This is not really the best idea when running 13 miles. This is the third time I have done this race and have never had an issue in the past with drinks stations therefore had no need to take my own. It is a real shame that the drinks sponsors thought it was a great idea to promote there new sugar free drink at a half marathon when runners really need there glucose intake.
Really enjoyed the atmosphere of the whole weekend including the junior runs on the quayside on Saturday. Definatly a must for next year but with plenty of my own Glucose!!!!! Date of review: September 20, 2010
In short: Crowded, hilly and deeply frustrating In full: I was told by some people this was a hilly course and others said it's a gradual up-hill gradiant. It's hilly, without question.
Like all big races, it had its fair share of people in fancy dress and people who didn't realise it's a running race and take to walking from about half a mile. Some great support at places but there were points in the race when it's dead quiet and not a little dull. Start and finish very well organised but the whole thing was let down by the hour-plus wait to get on the Metro at South Shields. With this being one of the most famous races in the calendar, I am pleased I did it, but the hills and the queues mean I'm unlikely to do it again. Date of review: September 20, 2010
In short: Truly enjoyable! In full: Really enjoyed this event - the local support was amazing, as were the Red Arrows flying over just as I emerged from an underpass near the beginning. The last 1.5 miles are a killer as the finish just seems to stretch and stretch away from you!
Only minor was the sugar-free Powerade. Not great when all you want is SUGAR!!! Date of review: September 20, 2010
In short: Fantastic! In full: My first GNR & cant wait to do it all again. The crowds were very supportive, the bands were brilliant. Not a hilly course but quite testing given the volume of people taking part and it was humid once the rain had stopped. I enjoyed the hospitality in the charity marquees afterwards. Loved the t-shirt, the medal and full goody bag. I'll definately be back next year. Date of review: September 20, 2010
In short: Brilliant atmosphere nothing would beat this In full: My second GNR and I would do it all over again, its something special, for the amount of people who are doing it. People don't run this to get Pb's due to so many people (although I beat last years' time)but for the shear atmosphere, enjoyment and crowd support as well as the iconic meaning of this race. There is nothing like standing ready to run with 55000 other runners at the start, and hitting South Shields a few hours later. Bupa do a great job of organising, water stops, poweraid etc. Only complaint is amount of loo's at the start. Getting back to Newcastle was a nightmare (metro) but bused it last year and same problems - but what do you expect with 55000 people? If there is any half marathon that people do - do this one as its just "special". Running for a charity made it even more special. Everyone has their own story and that's what's so great about it. I now want to see what time I would get for a half marathon that isn't busy.... Date of review: September 20, 2010
In short: Its big, its smooth but its an event rather than a race In full: Well organised race that managed to get 50,000 in one place at one time ready for teh start without major problems - all the problems seem to be getting them away at end.
Course is largely soulless and uninspiring made better by the huge numbers of bands around course and the spectators. to be honest was expecting a few more spectators but might have been the rain putting them off.
Mildly undullating course with nothing too serious in terms of hills.
Think this has gone beyond a race to be honest and many people scores reflect this as an event or occasion, mass participation feel good etc. As a race there are better courses and better support.
Worth doing once for the occasion but doubt I will ever be back (even if I lived close) Date of review: September 20, 2010