In short: Fabulous In full: What a fantastic day. My 1st GNR and I loved every minute of it. My experience of the start was excellent - 8 mins walk to cross the start line but running straight afterwards. Loved the unofficial 'ladies' and 'gents' in the bushes near the orange pens. Overwhelming support from locals and friends who had lined the route (huge thanks to Em, Phil, Ella, Thomas & Liz), which made for an exciting and emotional day. Plenty of water stations and unofficial provisions(bananas, ice pops, beer) and cheering almost throughout the route, especially at the cheering points. Everyone in the NE should be very proud. See you next year. Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: GNR does it again In full: My third GNR and I still love it - although I have come to realise that I should stop trying to get a PB on the course and run at a pace where I can enjoy the atmosphere. In my first year, I was blown away by the whole ocassion. Last year I enjoyed it so much more - but then I was running at half my normal pace helping my wife round. So this year in an attempt for a PB from the much improved start (but then I was in the Red Zone) I was working so hard I found it difficult to enjoy everything that makes GNR special - the crowd, the kids, the keg of beer at 10 miles (next year I will take some), sweeties, ice lollies, unofficial waters stops, the band, unofficial bands, stereos in gardens, hose pipes, etc.
Yes, there are some things that can be improved and I'm sure the new start didn't work for everyone - but then it will never be possible to please 50,000 people. Particularly when there is such a mix of ability and personal aims.
I love it and I'll be back again next year. Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: A Great Experience In full: this was ny first time and was unsure of what to expect but it was a fantastic day although a bit hectic at the start with lots of jostling for space. However this did not ruin the event for me and the support from the crowd was out of this world and I even managed a decent time. I will definately be applying next year and hopefully break my PB. Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: 2nd time for me and things seemed better with zoned starts In full: For me the key to this event is to get there early, in s/shields for 07:30, loads of parking, metro busy but fine, plenty of time to get to baggage buses (they were a bit far back) loads of toilets with no queues, strolled into red pen about 10:00am. Still plenty of room only 1/4 full. Over start line in 40 secs, then usual busy run to finish. Can't fault things really. To be picky, goodie bag bit light compared to last year and traffic seemed busier getting out of s/shields but just used sat nav for a back route and we were away. Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: Fantastic day out, but a bad run for me this time... In full: Although I had a white number and took 30mins to cross the start line, I didn't feel that impeded by the people in front of me walking from the start and there seemed to be plenty of room. Or at least more room than I remember from 2004.
I do think that there is some room for improvement yet again with the start, but then again, it's going to be almost impossible to devise a plan that will satisfy 50,000 competitors and let them all have a clear path to South Shields, so this event will probably continue to be a giant fun run for most of us non-elite athletes.
Once again the local people did themselves very proud, the young and the not-so-young lining the entire route during some very changeable weather, with their support and enthusiasm unfaltering. Experiencing this encouragement, generousity (sweets, biscuits, ice pops and drinks gioven out by local residents) and party atmosphere alone is worth the slightly high entry fee.
I definitely hope to be back next year to go through it all again, and hopefully have a better run next time. Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: Has become a habit I can't quit In full: Start was a total farce. Reading the first 40-50 reviews on here, by far the most problems were with the start. I have run sub 1.30 every year for the last 4 years. Last year, I was over the start line in seconds, it was brilliant. My reward for renewing my £30 'membership?' - a starting place 11 minutes back. A mess. I know they can't please everyone, but please, WHY can't there be an area behind the elite runners for people who can prove a (say) sub 1.40 time?
As usual, on balance, a terrific event. But it could, and should, be so much better. Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: Trying to get out of the area at the end made the whole day a misery! In full: First time doing the GNR & the crowd support was fantastic. The start was chaotic, but it was the traffic at the end that made it that much more frustrating! 3 hours to get to central Newcastle & I missed my train. (NB to Newcastle Metro: you should give runners access to the metro for free on race day like other major running cities) Date of review: October 4, 2006