In short: Run it for the atmosphere not a PB... In full: ...unless of course it's your first time or you're starting right at the front. Even in zone C the first few miles were crowded (I saw 4 people trip over other runners before mile 1) and there was lots of bumping around the drinks stations (didn't much appreciate the gentleman who saw fit to swear at me when I knocked into him as he veered in front of me to grab some water). The course seemed hillier than I remembered and it was bit hot for those of us who prefer running in the rain.
That said it is a great day and the support on the course is fantastic (especially the guy hosing people down from the bus stop and the small boys handing out cups of water just as I thought I was about to expire).
It's not the cheapest of races and I'm not sure I'd go back next year as once you had accommodation and travel on it works out as an expensive weekend and then takes hours to get home in the mass exodus from the North east.
As far as the goody bag goes - yes I have seen better but a lot of the races I do are much smaller and the most you hope to get at the end is some water and maybe a chocolate bar! I can't say I've ever entered a race on the basis of the quality of the goody bag. Date of review: September 22, 2009
In short: loved it In full: my first GNR and my first half marathon ... found the hills quite challenging despite living in wales but would be more prepared next time .. went this time just to say id done it no real ambitions on time or expectations but definately would love to do it again with more of a goal race wise .. The geordies are fab and they made it more me .. didnt like to see so many suffer in the heat just before the end ..definately made me emotional .. hope to do it again next year .. Date of review: September 22, 2009
In short: Back Next Year In full: First half so guaranteed a PB anyway. But what a day !! From the enthusiastic guy at the start, to the amazing spectators - never has an ice-pop tasted so good! Enjoyed the showers along the way and the boost zone. Free massage was good as well. Not really bothered about the goody bag cos had such a good day! Date of review: September 22, 2009
In short: Plus points - fabulous atmosphere and crowd support. Minus points - not enough loos, and marshals refusing entry to race zones! In full: My first GNR and I'd probably do it again, as nothing else beats the continual crowd support. A hot day definitely affected people's times, and sad to see so many people suffering from the heat at the end.
BUT I do think it's steep and the goody bags are pretty rubbish. A cotton tee?? and a few money off coupons and sachets of cream?? A technical tee wouldn't have gone amiss.
ALSO there just weren't enough loos. I queued up from 9.45 till 10.20 at the loos near Zone E then left the queue with a bursting bladder, concerned about not being able to get into "E". Then found I had to join another queue to get into E, stood there for 10 mins then the marshalls closed the barrier at half past, saying late arrivals should get in further back. We were fuming - we weren't late as we'd been standing there for 10 minutes!!! Anyway I managed to get over the lower barrier in zone F. So what with a bursting bladder and the bother with the marshall it didn't make for a very good race start and took the edge off a bit.
Oh and why can't walkers keep to the left like they're supposed to??
However I'll never forget runnuing through those tunnels near Manors shouting "oggy oggy oggy!!!"
In short: A very special event In full: In general an exceptionally well organised race. Despite the huge numbers involved, it goes like clockwork. Even the weather seems to be booked well in advance! The water and Powerade bottles were too big. Bottles half that size would have been fine and less wasteful. My only reall grumble is the baggage buses. Not convinced that double deck buses are the answer - very messy to find your bag. And coding them on the colour of your starting/finishing time is potty. When I finished there was nobody looking for bags on pink/white/green coded buses. But the queues for the orange buses ran to 30-40 people. Go back to choosing the first bus you come to. Date of review: September 22, 2009