In short: Great North... what more to say? In full: My first GNR and I'll be back for more! The support from people was second to none, the water stations were excellent and it was lovely running with such a group of people. The organisation at the start and finish were excellent although traffic at the end in South Shields was very heavy (what else can you expect?) I have a few gripes; too few toilets at the start, too many walkers in the front zones (people should be realistic about their timezone especially with chip races!), a few bottlenecks where it was difficult to pass, and a poor goodybag.The medal and ribbon were also poor!
In short: well ! its the G N R !!! In full: What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning. The folks of the north east sure know how to party!! Will be back again next year. Date of review: September 24, 2011
In short: If you only ever do one half marathon, do this one - fantastic! In full: This was my 6th time and I'll continue to go back year after year. Well organised, great warm-up, start very well managed (I got a high 5 from Mo Farah too! :-)). Lindisfarne's 'Run for Home' and the band playing the Blaydon Races within the first mile always spur me on; the crowds are truly amazing - generous with their support, encouragement and jelly babies, even in the pouring rain! Finished in 2:07:09 this year, I'm determined to get in under 2 hours as I've done elsewhere - just need to try harder next time :-) Thanks you to everyone who plays their part in such a fabulous race. Date of review: September 24, 2011
In short: Great race - Organisation could be better In full: What a great day. This was our first GNR so we took every thing nice and easy. We are not the fastest runners and were alicated green pen positions. We get the Metro in from Sunderland at just gone 8 arriving at the start area with no problems by 9. Soaked up the atmosphere, queued for the loos (only 5mins), packed bags on bus (great idea much better than lories) and went to the pen area, before entering we used the open air grass loos, yes both M+F like many others. GNR need to put loos done the side of the Mway. Note - a person looks so differant on those mega big screens having a discret pee :-) The warm up great were else in the world are you one of 50K+ people doing arobics on a motorway on a Sunday morning. Tip - Choose the LEFT lane at the start, it has one less hill. It took us 25mins to cross the start line after the gun but ha hoy we had a great crowd around us. The ogy ogy's under the bridges I can't discribe the lift, you need to experance first hand. Course in general good - supporters great - great to see so many happy people in this day, runners and supporters. The high and low (small kids) fives, the jelly babies, the kids squirting water, I'll get you back next year. The rain counldn't even stop the smiles. Supprised by the amount of 'Blue lights'. I hope everone is well. The only disappointment was the FINISH. No not our times but the FINISH AREA etc. I accept it has to be laid out over a large area but it was - We've finished, great what now! - walk for 1/4 mile to get out of the area to the supporters - They couln'd see any thing at the finish because they were held right back. The atomosphere along the last mile was terrific turn right on to the grass and it had all gone. Come on GNR let the crowds in, even the smaller events get this right. Major gripe - Tee Shirts. Were were the x Large ones? also cheap White Cotton. Nice Tecno shirts (worth having) seem to be becoming the norm now ever at lower priced events. All in all, yes we did enjoy the GNR, yes we will do it again. Many thanks to all the Police, Red Cross, St John's, Doctors and all the thousands of other volunteers that went in to making it such a great day for us 54000 runners. Date of review: September 24, 2011
In short: The atnosphere is amazing. No other un like it! In full: It's essential to get to the start early to allow enough time to get to the loos and to your alloted pen. The atmosphere is amazing, made all the more special by the Red Arrows. I particularly appreciated their fly over at the start this year as I'm always over the Tyne Bridge by the time they fly over.
Yes, the queues are long at the finish for the metro and ferry but I don't let it dampen the day. I got a PB of 1.41.12 this year and thought the atmosphere, friendliness and crowds were better than ever.
I went to the pasta party on the Saturday for the first time this year. Whilst I loved the athletics, I wasn't overly fussed by the pasta party/runners tent. Date of review: September 23, 2011
In short: Expected more In full: After a huge number of halfs this one was a shambles at the start, a nightmare for specatators but couldn't fault the red arrows and cheering crowds.
I was an orange number. I arrived at my pen 10mins before close and was physically pushed back by a man in high-vis and told to go to the crossing. Got to the crossing and another man in high-vis was closing it early. Went back to the orange pen high-vis man who had then sealed the entry and started physcially pushing away runners - hard enough to knock a young girl down and make her cry.
As an organge runner planning on a decent time race I then had to walk passed the whites who were also now sealed and ended up waiting outside the end barriers to filter in to the start. A hugely stressful start. And to the reviewer who said he was upset that oranges had given incorrect times and he had to overtake them all - that is why. I was not the only person starting in a random colour pen.
Course was nice, crowds were good, bands were good, fun water fights with kids squirting bottles. A crowded course so no huge PB potential (unless you are lucky enough to get in your pen up front maybe).
Got to the end and was disappointed to see the crowds at the finish line were held way back by fences. No grandstand, no big finish, no-one volunteer saying well done, just sort of done. Got my bag, medal etc then went to try and exit - I couldn't. The exit was so narrow I got kicked and pushed. The reunion area was chaos, couldn't see my boyf anywhere for the crowds around my letter and almost started crying. Luckily he found me. He had only just got there. It took two hours to get from the start to finish for him. There were no signs for him to get to reunion area from the station, nor any signs to the big beer tent he could have waited in while it rained.
The instructions that arrived said the pasta party the day before was at gateshead quay. That's it. The place is huge and took ages to find where it was amongst the chaos of crowds, and then it wasn't really worth the effort.
The ferry took 90mins to queue. The metro took 2 hours. The queue was still there at 6pm as we watched from the pub.
I get it is a big event and difficult to organise and I get the busy course makes it a big slower, but I really did expect more from a 30+year iconic race that charges so much.
Want a good quality organised half, try Reading or Coventry or Nottingham instead. Has all the pros and is far more slick. Date of review: September 23, 2011