In short: Thanks, but no thanks In full: It's a shame that the world's largest half marathon suffers from such a terrible course. Boring hardly describes it. The atmosphere and support (in places) makes up for it, and it does have one of the best closing miles in running. But the goody bag? When you're paying £45? Purlease. At least put in a technical tee. Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Hot Hot Hot - Great event/spectacle + Red Arrows In full: Must do event - can't call it a race too packed by half - but just brilliant atmosphere and feel to the whole day. On course marshalling and drinks great, and the support of the locals first rate.
Only gripes was not being able to get into my pen although arrived 15 minutes ahead of the start and the ludicrous organisation of the bagage bus. Won't do again but Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Been there, done that! In full: There are a few issues with organisation at the start, but other than that, this is as good as it gets. The pens were shut early, leaving runners arriving in time to crawl under barriers to start in the right place and the toilet facilities were ridiculous as both men and women felt compelled to urinate in public (which I believe may even be a criminal offence, but needs must!) Water and powerade were plentiful, bands were brilliant and I LOVED the Bupa "boost zone" which was a fabulous idea and gave a much needed lift to tired legs! Too many people gasping for breath wearing oxygen masks made me wonder if everyone had heeded the warnings to "respect the distance" and the weather conditions clearly were challenging. Highlight of the day for me would have to be people handing out their own juice and ice pops to grateful runners and making banners saying things like "welcome 50000 friends"! I was proud to be one of them. Thank you North East England! Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: A truely fantastic day, emotional, moving and heart warming. In full: This is more than a run. Very special day. I will never forget running through the tunnels and under the red arrows. It went far too quickly! Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: I'm back next year.... In full: This was my first GNR, have been wanting to do it for ages. The heat made it tough, but the crowds and the fun runners etc were brilliant. I will definately be back next year! iT WAS AMAZING. Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Fantastic Race, amazing atmosphere! In full: The Great North Run is a very special race, second only to the London Marathon in terms of atmosphere. The organisation and crowd support is top notch. Course wise I find it pretty beginner friendly with the hills no major challenge (the profile I'd describe as flat/undulating) and so long as you don't get too boxed in it can be a PB course, although the massive crowds of people can make this difficult!! I personally do this run for the whole experience though and not for a fast time. My only gripe is the price - when you think the London Marathon is only £28 (if you get in of course) then £42 is very steep! And you don't even get free transport on the day like you do in London if you show your number!! Still, the geordies are very friendly and accommodating and make this a fantastic occasion so I'll definitely be back next year! Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Great atmosphere, but now I've done it I'm not sure I want to do it again!!! In full: The atmosphere was great, both from the runners and the wonderful support. The organisation seemed great, drinks stations were well stocked and prepared and well marshalled, the amount of medical help there was a comfort had I needed it. Was shocked by the number of prostrate bodies I saw, hope everyone was OK. Course was OK, hills weren't hills (not by Yorkshire standards) but were long, leg sapping drags and that last mile and a quarter was the longest I've ever known!! I was lucky enough to win my place (thanks Powerade and Runnersworld) which is probably the only way I'd ever do the GNR as I'd baulk at paying £42 for a half and putting up with all the travel and accomodation aggro. But I did it, I enjoyed it and I've got the medal and cheapo Tshirt to prove it!! Date of review: September 21, 2009