In short: Yet again fantastic! In full: This was my third GNR, and I actually enjoyed it more than either of the other two. Oh it's still not perfect, I passed my first walker well before the Tyne Bridge, and was held up by lots of slower runners and walkers along the way, but in all honesty it doesnt matter. The organisation was superb this year. The extraordinary atmosphere make it a must-do event. The crowd, the Red Arrows, the Tyne Bridge, the friendliness of the other runners, just make it a wonderful run for anyone from the elite runner to those walking the entire way collecting for charity. And I still managed a PB. Perfect? No. Will I be back next year? Oh yes, I'll see you there for number 4! Date of review: October 4, 2007
In short: Fog on the Tyne? If only... In full: The warm weather made this already challenging course a bit tougher - combined with the crowds, this isn't the sort of race you do for a PB. That said, it IS the sort of race that has to be done at least once. Running along the Tyne Bridge with the Red Arrows swooping overhead was worth the entry fee alone. Excellent city, brilliant people, great race. Overrated? Perhaps a little, but nonetheless my favourite half-marathon. See you next year! Date of review: October 4, 2007
In short: Hard to get a PB In full: I was meant to be in zone B, but by the time we got through the long, long toilet queues ended up in zone D. Race was fine- lots of hills though!. Goody bag at the end was lame. Liked the idea of meeting points around the velodrome. Date of review: October 4, 2007
In short: I wanted a poo! Not too good for wellwishers. In full: I've done a handful of races in my lifetime. This was the one, this year, that I was building up towards. I managed to nab a charity place and my family were very generous in my appeal and wanted to cheer me on. I could hardly refuse.
The weekend was superb. I enjoyed watching the kids on the Saturday, as well as the elite 1 mile and 3k races. The Expo was nothing to write home about, though and to be fair, I'll probably give it a miss if I get in next year.
On the day I chose to park in South Shields and get the Metro in. That worked fine by me, mum, mum-in-law and wife all got a seat and I arrived in good time for the start.
I've always made it a rule to try to have a good clear-out pre-race, but by the time I found my starting pen, the queues for the portaloos were enormous. I spent 30 minutes in a queue without even getting near. I gave up in the end and hoped I'd be OK.
The starting pens seemed like a good idea, and to be fair, I finished with a good few runners who started in my pen. However, a good time in running kit in a previous year does not a good run in fancy dress make. I spent a lot of time weaving across the road to pick my way around the fancy-dress runners.
The good people of Tyneside cheering us on were fantastic, and offered up great extra goodies - orange segments, cakes and beer being particularly popular - they really made the day.
11-mile hill was not too nasty, really.
I'd quite like for future paricipants to learn to drink while running. I went to the rear of the feeding stations only to find a mass of runners stopped to drink. While on this subject, can you please try and throw your bottles away from the road?
The only real problem is that it took my party of wellwishers well over two hours to get from the start to the finish. Consequently they missed me arriving. I know what to do next time!
Exit from South Shields, in the special place we parked, which I'm never sharing with anyone, was pretty effortless really, given the scale of the thing.
I didn't get the chance to stop for a poo 'til York, though! Date of review: October 4, 2007
In short: Good weather and year on year improvement in organisation, well done, thanks. In full: Less toilets at the start than previous years was not good. But the pens at the start seemed to work to a degree(I was mid white zone F, but there were lots of people coming through from behind so although i was in the right pen in terms of my finishing time a lot of people were stuck in slower pens than their talent warranted. Goodie bag: excellent Tshirt and medal but the rest naff, who stole my food?
In short: Great course; Great support; Great organisation; Great atmosphere. In full: This as my first GNR and I can safely say it was the greatest running experience of my life. I was lucky enough to be Orange Zone B due to having a good registered time. As you'll see from the above summary I thought it was magnificent. From the Spitfire overhead; the Red Arrows; the awesome support along the whole course; the bands including the Nike 10 mile speaker alley with Mr Brightside blasting out. It was amazing. The hill from 8 to almost 12 was hard going and mile 11-12 was run on mental energy. I got within 19 seconds of my PB and posted a time of 1hr 41m 04s so I was well chuffed. I hope to be sccessful in the ballot for 2008. Loved it. Date of review: October 3, 2007
In short: My first time, beyond expectations, great atmosphere and a PB, a great weekend. In full: It was the first time I had run in such a large event and I was more than impressed with the organisation and such a brilliant atmosphere inspired me to do a PB which I really had not expected.The course was tough with some steady climbs and also the short steep descent followed by the straight flat but tiring final mile made it challenging. I would definately like to do the event again, the only problem was getting out of South Shields afterwards. Date of review: October 3, 2007
In short: Everything it's built up to be - and more! In full: Having done Liverpool this was in a completely different league. Considering the numbers I thought the organisation was excellent, the crowds were superb and the whole experience memorable. The course was tough and it was difficult to get into a stride with so many people but just axccept that and it's all fun. My only critisism was the inept traffic management - 2 hours to get out of South Shields and not a policeman to be seen! Date of review: October 3, 2007