In short: The infrastructure cannot cope... In full: This was my first GSR, but not my first race. I don't think I'll be doing it again because although I enjoyed the race itself - hellish final two miles in a freezing cold wind tunnel aside - I don't think it was worth all the hassle and waiting in attempting to get home afterwards.
It took us under an hour to get there, and nearly four hours to get back. Nuff said...
I know that they warned that "some" delay would be inevitable but I did not expect to sit in the car park for two hours, especially as I was paying for a "professionally managed car parking experience" or some such.
Kudos and big thanks to the people who came out to support us - it was REALLY appreciated - but long stretches of the race were very lonely. That's down to the weather, I suspect, and nobody's fault.
The Nike Powersong speakers were fantastic - they gave a real boost during the most difficult phase - but the signposting at the finish was poor. The organisers told us to meet friends and family at a special alphabetically-organised meeting point but it wasn't signposted at all from the finish and it took me nearly half an hour to find it, whilst my boyfriend was waiting in the rain. Not good.
I'm not going to complain about getting a dry t-shirt at the end of the race but really, the goody bag was also a bit of a disappointment. Omega 3 capsules? I'd rather have a bag of nuts!
I've mixed feelings about this race - I love the fact that it encourages people of all abilities, but I don't think the wave start worked. I'm a slow runner but I do run and the green wave, which I was in the middle off, was completely clogged up with walkers and I could not run properly for the first mile. That was very frustrating, and perhaps they should have a separate wave for walkers or tell them that they have to start at the very back.
I am not sure that Portsmouth, because of its location, is a very good choice for this race. It's difficult to get out of at the best of times and having all those runners descend is obviously asking for trouble. I'm sorry to say but unless it moves elsewhere I won't be doing the GSR again. Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: Great if you want a "big" event, with atmosphere. Seasoned runners now starting to see it's downfall..... In full: Toilets shut at far end of the field didn't help, especially as we were queueing in the rain before the start. Race organisation OK, considering the numbers, but it should be after all these years..?!. Late start in the rain. Always crowded at the start, but part of it's appeal. Great T-shirt and Medal. Kids' runs on Saturday always good (and dry!). Overall good event. My 6th time, not sure if it will be lucky seven. Needs to get back to early October to have any chance of decent weather. Left the Common at 12.15pm and got straight off and was home in Essex by 3.15pm. Not sure this was due to the £ 3 parking (which was a bit of a cheek) or because I left earlier than normal. Weather lets it down (two years running), unfortunately. Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: Congestion in the race – congestion after the race. In full: Great race with wonderful support right the way round. The course is a little narrow in places, so it made it difficult starting from the second wave to get through the crowds. I basically ran into traffic problems from about the second mile. Parking is a real problem too. Routes out of Portsmouth were basically gridlocked, and it was a free-for-all in the car park afterwards. This really needs addressing. Other than that, fabulous fun.
In short: If only they could organise the weather! In full: Very well organised race. Great support almost all the way round. Liked the ships but last 2 miles ought to be illegal in that wind! Still don't really understand the point of the waves - if anything it makes things worse because everyone in the orange wave seemed to think they had the right to stand at the front and it makes for a very long wait for people in the later waves when standing in the rain is not something you want to be doing. Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: A great day spoilt a bit by the weather. This was my first one and despite the weather I will be back next year. In full: Managed a personal best despite the wind and rain. The support around the course was magnificent especially given the weather. Organisation was also very good. As I said I will definately be back nest year. Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: What a shame it was spoilt by the wind!! In full: Disappointing that the first wave was delayed by 8 minutes due to vehicles on the course!! I think the issues over parking will never go away due to the location of the event but that did not bother me as I park at my in-laws a mile away and walk down to the common. Local knowledge of the roads then gets me out of town quicker. As for the race, it was well marshalled and well supported especially with the poor weather (again). At least the finish area was not a mud bath like last year. An improvement on 2006 and I hope the organisers continue to make fine adjustments to make the day better and hope the weather treats them fairer next year. Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: Good race, PB potential - but beware of weather! In full: It's all been said in other reviews. I have done six out of the last seven GSRs, always back in my car on the Common well within 2 hours and never had a problem getting out - until this year. Two hours to get off common and 30 mins for the 2 miles to M275!! Council and/or Police please sort it out!! Charging £3 for parking is not on; parking control appeared no different to previous years - added no value. I am not blaming SEP for the problems getting of the Common, the problem was the roads out of town. Despite traffic I will be back! Date of review: October 30, 2007
In short: had fun In full: run this three years ago and came back for more, def will be back next year. weather was terrible and the wind on the home stretch nearly killed me lol but great to cross the finish line with all the crowd cheering, can't wait till next year. Date of review: October 29, 2007