In short: Not bad - despite the weather In full: This was my first Great South Run, although I would now consider myself an experienced 'Great Run' runner. The Great South is similar to the Great North (albeit smaller), don't hope for a PB or an earth shattering fast run, but just enjoy the atmosphere and the humbling experience of taking part in somthing that is raising serious money for charity.
Yes the weather was horrible, yes the course was lonely in places, yes I was irritated by people walking (in 3's and 4's) - but, the support from the people of Portsmouth was great and the organisation was in my opinion resonably good.
There has been lots of talk about poor parking, a bit of pre planning would have solved the problems. I parked in one of the town centre car parks as advised on the Great Run website - it cost me £4 and only took me 20 minutes to leave after the race, I will definately park in the town next year. All in all a good run, the medals are always of good quality and I enjoyed the lucozade energy bar at the end - which is much better than one race I recently attended where they gave a packet of cold soup (YUM) Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: Despite the grotty weather, still fun ... In full: Mostly well organised overall except that it took us the same amount of time to get out of the car park as it did for me to run the whole 10 miles ... 1 hour 35! Yucky weather meant the last 2 miles along the sea front was energy-sapping - strong wind and horizontal rain in your face! Never appreciated before how spoilt I was with the sunshine of 2005's GSR. First 8 miles were enjoyable and a lot of that was to do with the terrific crowd support ... huge thanks to all those wonderful supporters standing out in that horrible weather to cheer the runners on, they deserve a medal too! Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: Great atmosphere and challenging finish. Terrible car parking. In full: I dont know how to rate this really as I really enjoyed it, and managed a PB, but the trip home was really bad and possibly not worth it. I parked in the £3 car park, but no-one asked me for any money. The stewards need to be replaced. Unlike everyone else it seems, I really enjoyed the final two miles. Eye of the Tiger - perfect finishing music. Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: My first ten mile and i enjoyed it more than any other half or ten k i had done previous ,from start to finish it was great ,i even ditched my i pod and soaked up the atmosphere, brilliant day cant wait for london marathon now !! Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: The infrastructure cannot cope... In full: This was my first GSR, but not my first race. I don't think I'll be doing it again because although I enjoyed the race itself - hellish final two miles in a freezing cold wind tunnel aside - I don't think it was worth all the hassle and waiting in attempting to get home afterwards.
It took us under an hour to get there, and nearly four hours to get back. Nuff said...
I know that they warned that "some" delay would be inevitable but I did not expect to sit in the car park for two hours, especially as I was paying for a "professionally managed car parking experience" or some such.
Kudos and big thanks to the people who came out to support us - it was REALLY appreciated - but long stretches of the race were very lonely. That's down to the weather, I suspect, and nobody's fault.
The Nike Powersong speakers were fantastic - they gave a real boost during the most difficult phase - but the signposting at the finish was poor. The organisers told us to meet friends and family at a special alphabetically-organised meeting point but it wasn't signposted at all from the finish and it took me nearly half an hour to find it, whilst my boyfriend was waiting in the rain. Not good.
I'm not going to complain about getting a dry t-shirt at the end of the race but really, the goody bag was also a bit of a disappointment. Omega 3 capsules? I'd rather have a bag of nuts!
I've mixed feelings about this race - I love the fact that it encourages people of all abilities, but I don't think the wave start worked. I'm a slow runner but I do run and the green wave, which I was in the middle off, was completely clogged up with walkers and I could not run properly for the first mile. That was very frustrating, and perhaps they should have a separate wave for walkers or tell them that they have to start at the very back.
I am not sure that Portsmouth, because of its location, is a very good choice for this race. It's difficult to get out of at the best of times and having all those runners descend is obviously asking for trouble. I'm sorry to say but unless it moves elsewhere I won't be doing the GSR again. Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: Great if you want a "big" event, with atmosphere. Seasoned runners now starting to see it's downfall..... In full: Toilets shut at far end of the field didn't help, especially as we were queueing in the rain before the start. Race organisation OK, considering the numbers, but it should be after all these years..?!. Late start in the rain. Always crowded at the start, but part of it's appeal. Great T-shirt and Medal. Kids' runs on Saturday always good (and dry!). Overall good event. My 6th time, not sure if it will be lucky seven. Needs to get back to early October to have any chance of decent weather. Left the Common at 12.15pm and got straight off and was home in Essex by 3.15pm. Not sure this was due to the £ 3 parking (which was a bit of a cheek) or because I left earlier than normal. Weather lets it down (two years running), unfortunately. Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: Congestion in the race – congestion after the race. In full: Great race with wonderful support right the way round. The course is a little narrow in places, so it made it difficult starting from the second wave to get through the crowds. I basically ran into traffic problems from about the second mile. Parking is a real problem too. Routes out of Portsmouth were basically gridlocked, and it was a free-for-all in the car park afterwards. This really needs addressing. Other than that, fabulous fun.
In short: If only they could organise the weather! In full: Very well organised race. Great support almost all the way round. Liked the ships but last 2 miles ought to be illegal in that wind! Still don't really understand the point of the waves - if anything it makes things worse because everyone in the orange wave seemed to think they had the right to stand at the front and it makes for a very long wait for people in the later waves when standing in the rain is not something you want to be doing. Date of review: October 30, 2007