In short: Should be renamed the BUPA Great North Walk In full: This is my 4th GNR, but possibly my last.
In the last 2 years I finished in the top 250, setting a PB there the year before last. This time round, the charity runners had selfishly invaded the pens near the front, intended for serious club runners. The marshals decided that for "safety reasons", they weren't going to let in any more people, regardless of whether they we're supposed to be there or not. I ended up starting nearly half a mile back and was stuck behind about 20000 people, causing me to average 8 minute mile pace. Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: A rewarding experience. In full: On paper the coloured pens seemed a good idea, although in practise it needs a little bit more work. I am very aware of the fact that this race is and is intended to be a charity fun race but it was a little anoying after all the training that I put in to be stuck behind walkers at the 2-3 mile markers. I was running on my own and it was my first attempt at a half marathon and I was very much trying to concentrate on my pace so I could make it to the end, but i am sure I ended up running possibly another ½ mile or maybe more by the time I had weaved in and out of walkers etc. People need to be honest with their times if the start scenario is going to work. There was no way that some of the people in the pen that I was in was going to finish in the time that they put on paper. I am very much against race snobbery and very much for everyone having a go, but surely it would have been better for those that wish to walk/run or maybe just walk to be nearer the back for their sakes. Having said all of that a brilliant event. Would have thought they would have got the traffic chaos sorted out at the end after 25yrs. No traffic in either direction was moving and it took our coach 1 hour to make it out of the car park on the sea front. This is not good sitting after running 13.1 miles! Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: First ever run - FANTASTIC In full: This was my first ever even I have entered and I really enjoyed it. It was very organised and the supporters were fantastic. There was a sudden burst of heavy rain yet they all stayed out offering goodies and their support
Thanks to you all - great first run Date of review: October 4, 2006
In short: Better than expected. I beat my time for an uncrowded flat half run in September - despite dodging round other runners all the way to the finish line. Enjoyed it. Date of review: October 3, 2006
In short: A fantastic opportunity for all runners. Definitely a fun run but doesn't pretend to be anything else! In full: Great day out and a real opportunity for a beginner to train for this distance. I had a great day and even beat my PB, despite a less focussed training plan than last year.I had a white number and had to queue for the start just as the pen system ended so did not have the problems of some of the other colours. However, even where I was it felt much more crowded than last year. Loads of toilets beyond the baggage buses with no queues and plentiful loo paper. Guess most people didn't find these. One of the advantages of being a white number!Lots of walkers but I managed to run past without too much hassle. Course definitely seemed to be continuously uphill. Lots of water this year (and YES they did run out at one of the water stations last year- I was there so I know) which was an improvement. Loved the bands, a real motivator when I was beginning to flag. This is a brilliant day out, to train for but not to take too seriously. Date of review: October 3, 2006
In short: What can you say it is the GREAT North Run In full: It is what it is - and should be enjoyed for that - other than for the elite runners it is not a race but for the thousands it is very enjoyable - there needs to be an event like this but glad it is not the only race I do Date of review: October 3, 2006