In short: If you're 18 Stone and 10 of that's round the middle, get to the back! In full: OK I'm no Adonis, nor am I Seb Coe, but I did train for the event and I have done half Marathons before. When I enter a race, I don't intend to when it, but I do intend to RUN it. I started with a freind in the 2hrs mark. After 2 miles we'd hit walls of walkers. Not sensible ones walking single file at the sides but big fat ones walking 3 abreast! This happened throughout the race, thus causing a break in rythm and forcing us to walk at times. The event had everything; a great course in a lovely city, full of lovely people cheering us on in a fantastic manner. However, whilst this made it a great day out and a stunning event, the walkers ruined it as a run. I'd love to do it again if they managed it like the Wilmslow run, where excessive walkers are removed, but unfortunately I can't see this happening. This could be one of the best RUNS there is. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: First GNR thoroughly enjoyable (apart from the walkers at the front) In full: If you could bottle and sell the camaraderie and atmosphere you'd make a mint. Any walkers who started at the front reading this, please think again for next year and make it an enjoyable and SAFE event for EVERYONE. Hope the wobbly guy I gave an energy gel to in South Shields recovered enough to make it to the finish. Thanks to the British heart foundation for putting on some nice scoff at the end. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: fantastic PW potential if the weather kicks in 30 mins before the start In full: I had a horrid race setting a PW by 30 (yes count them) minutes. Knees busted, nothing in the tank by mile 10. There are some days when you have to say to yourself 'not today, its not worth it'. I ran/walked from mile 4 (at the side of the road I should add). Horrid at mile 10 to 12, too many ill people and amubulances, was horrified (but unsurprised) to hear about deaths when I got home.
General points to make: 1. Good mass participation event, expect all the usual stuff; walkers at 0.5 mile, dodging and weaving, problems at drinks stations etc etc. Don't worry aout them and enjoy it for what it is. 2. Well organised but could do better. Water before 4.5 miles might have been a good idea on such a hot day (BBC - 18C my a*se). Baggage buses less than a mile from the end would have been nice too. 3. Good atmosphere but not a patch on London. Long quiet patches along long straight dual-carriageways test the soul. Very good atmosphere amongst the runners though. Met some very nice people who helped me loads. 4. Cracking t-shirt and lots of food in goody bag - hurrah, I set a calorie intake record in the 10 minutes after finishing. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: Hell on the day in all honesty In full: 2nd GNR. Last year went superbly well, had a great run and PB. This year, got off well, 4 mins to cross line from 8 mins start point, yes had to dodge a few slower "runners" but expected that.
Felt rough as hell after 8 miles when on target for PB, calf tore, and was lucky to finish in truth (1.59). I now feel ill! The really scary bit is that I can't remember huge chunks of it - anybody else ever had this?
Will be back next year but thoughts go out to those who lost loved ones. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: Busy, but otherwise it would not be the GNR In full: Walkers at the front: nothing you can do about them. I sometimes give them a little nudge. It IS crowded, but so is London. If you want some space go do one of the other halfs. Would agree with a water stop nearer the 3 mile mark. Its still a GREAT event and recommend it to anyone. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: Needs water earlier than 4.5 miles In full: Most of my views have already been said but in summary:
1) A fantastic atmosphere. The crowds line the entire course and apart from a few annoying kids they really pull you along. 2) Water WAS available at the start, some way back near the baggage buses. However, I really think that water should have been available again before 4.5 miles, especially on such a hot day. If you could drink vaseline there'd be no problem as it was everywhere! Despite the organisers assertions that water didn't run out, I witnessed one station where discarded bottles were being manually refilled by marshals. 3) Something needs to be done about the walkers starting too near to the front. As a rather slow runner myself, I started at the back of the field but even I soon came upon people strolling along very near to the start line. It wouldn't be so bad if they showed some awareness/consideration but many of them walked side-by-side several abreast. The suggestion of a walker's lane at the side of the road is an excellent suggestion but things would work much better if slower competitors just used a bit of consideration and started from the back of the field. Date of review: September 21, 2005
In short: Pleased to have finshed both 25th GNR & 25th London Marathon In full: I thought the GNR was a very well organised event and felt everything ran really smoothly. Only suggestion would be to provide salt tablets or Sports Drink on the way round as water not the best thing for hydration, especially on such a hot day. Crowd support was great towards the end when you really needed it. Support from other runners was also motivating. Agree with others about slow runners making their way to the front, which is not helpful for those who want to run and surely can't be motivating if you have to walk after a mile and have thousands of people running past you.
All in all, a good day out and worthwhile taking part to say you have done it. May do it again next year!
Like others, my thoughts go to the families of those who lost a loved one. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Tough day In full: This was my 2nd run. the first was in 1999. I've had a back problem that has pprevented me from competing since then. I learnt my lessons from 1999 and got myself as close to the front as possible to avoid the wall of grannies.
I had hoped to run close to 1 hour 30, but I found it just too warm and ended up coming home in 1 hour 39, which I was happy with given the conditions and how bad I felt.
Despite drinking water at every opportunity I was still suffering major fluid loss, I lost 5 pounds in weight during the race. Not sure what happened because I did a 12 mile run 2 weeks ago on a warmer day and felt nowhere near as bad, just one of those days I guess.
The start should be better organised and they should have water at 2.5 miles, but apart from that the run was well organised. They need to take account of climate change when scheduling the event - hot September days like that will be much more frequent than they used to.
Very sorry to hear about the fatalities - they must be related to the heat. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: A must do for any runner, but once is enough for me In full: I did enjoy the run as a whole, but as with what has already been said, THERE WERE FAR TOO MANY RUNNERS. I, as many other runners do, make sure that I stand next to the marker which best represents my finnish time. Many people just pushed their way as far forward as they could which made it very difficult for everyone else, I saw people walking before they reached the 1st mile marker. It took me 30 minutes to get over the start line, all I seemed to be doing was zig zaging past the thousands of walkers, many of whome were linked arm in arm 6 or more abreast. My advice to anyone thinking about doing this run is to make your way as far forward as you can, having said that you will probably still be behind someone in fancy dress! Likewise my heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives, RIP Date of review: September 20, 2005