In short: Usual highs and lows, but still a must-do event! In full: Second year running this. Crowds can be a real problem for a lot of people as the organisers don't seem to make enough of an effort to sort people out into a proper order. The course is mostly bland dual carriageway but this is cancelled out by the tyne bridge, the amazing start line and first mile down the motorway, and the south shields sea front. Some pretty special places to run.. The whole event is full of atmosphere right from the start area to the finish and this is a definate highlight of the event. Drink/ aid stations are frequent so top marks there. Course not too fast or slow even if you get a clear run, downhill overall but many undulations to deal with. Major criticism though would be the baggage 'buses'; who the hell thought they were a good idea!? hundreds of runners clambering up and down a narrow bus trying to find their bag that is inevitably burried amongst hundreds of others! When most events make do with baggage lorries and assistants to get your bag. An event of this calibre should have a much more high tech system in place. Overall though a top, must-do event and I will certainly be back for many years to come! Date of review: September 24, 2012
In short: The title says it all - GREAT RUN In full: Amazing day, superb organisation from start to finish. First GNR, watched it from my "bed" for many years and didn't think I would ever be part of it let alone run it. The crowds were fantastic, cheering you all the way round. The last mile was awesome. Ace display by the Red Arrows to cap it off. Date of review: September 22, 2012
In short: Great (Race) North (ern hospitality and support) Run (PB)! In full: Excellent race yet again. 6th visit to the GNR, finished within 20 seconds of last year! Really well organised considering the amount of entrants; excellent cameraderie between various levels of runner and superbly supported the whole way round by the Great North East and I'm not a local! Will be back next year if they'll have me again. Gotta beat 1:40! Date of review: September 21, 2012
In short: It's addictive, once you start, you can't stop! In full: It was my 7th GNR, and thankfully, it does feel easier each passing year! I used to really feel the hills, but not anymore, don't notice them anymore.
Having started from different zones in the past (green, white, various oranges), I'd say the the starting position does affect the overall time despite it being chipped timed.
The atmosphere and the crowd is always electric. The only negatives are the toilet queues - why year after year, the number of toilets just never increase despite very long queues. This was not a problem at the recent Great Yorkshire Run where there were more toilets than queues! Also, the times on the lollipop the pacemakers were carrying were very small. When they are far ahead, the words pacemaker were large enough but not the times! I think if they had only the time on, that should be sufficient, we know they are pacemakers. Thankfully they had the times on their T-shirts, large enough, but again not visible when they're surrounded by crowds of runners!
Overall I highly recommend it, especially for first timers to a half marathon. Date of review: September 21, 2012
In short: Awesome In full: Pity it rained the whole way as I cant abide running in wet shoes (But thats me) The race itself is always organised superbly, no other mass participation event could possibly run as smoothly. Only sad part about the whole experience was that someone nicked my goodie bag with all the contents when I was changing by the busses. :-( Date of review: September 21, 2012
In short: 23 years in a row... In full: And it just gets better and better1 From arriving at the start,the baggage buses,the entertainment the whole pre-race build up is better than anywhere. The race(or run)is supported by some wonderful people,from start to finish.The water stations,First Aid points,showers (not that we needed them given the rain!) and those magnificent people of Newcastle,Gateshead and South Shields. Blooming fantastic! There is one niggle (and it crops up year after year!).There are still those halfwits who are starting in the wrong zone.The large lady who I passed after less than a mile was wearing an ornage number for zone B.She wasn't even walking,it was a ruptured duck waddle.I suspect she was wearing a number that someone had sold on via e-bay or something. However 'm not going to let that spoil my memories! I'll be back next year for number 24! Date of review: September 21, 2012
In short: Has got me hooked....... In full: This was my third and best run of the GNR, love the north east folk and the atmos. Brilliant to see elite and back of the pack folk all in one race. Will be back no doubt. Date of review: September 21, 2012