In short: Weather made it tough this year In full: Having now completed my third GNR I realise that fast times are difficult due to numbers. My greatest bug-bear is the walkers who choose to start at the front of the race. This year I came across walkers just the other side of the over-bridge at the start. A greater effort must be made to get people starting from the right position. I am never going to set any records but would like to run! amongst equally paced athletes. All said and done I have arranged accommodation for 2006 and look forward to another good day, hopefully a bit cooler though. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: be prepared! In full: Have done the GNR for last 8 eight years - and yes it was the hottest. BUT - people need to take it seriously and "be prepared" -cannot be treated as a "fun run". Also if people had read their pre-race instructions they would have realised that there WAS water at the start - as shown clearly on the start map in their race pack. The organisers did a great job and should not be criticised for people not preparing and for unseasonal weather. My heartfelt sympathy to people who lost their loved ones. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Good race but to many runners In full: This was my first big race although not my first half marathon. Atmosphere was brilliant but the volume of runners/walkers I feel was too much. Was forced onto a roundabout causing me to fall and smash my head on the ground - caused purely by the volume of people trying to manouvre. I think the race organisers needs to reduce the numbers in future. Plenty of water available and what a great support those people with hoses were! Was pleased with time 2hr 20mins - not my best but happy as you have to take into consideration the number of people entering. Not sure if I would enter such a big race again, seeing people collapsing between miles 11-13 was terrible, my heart goes out to the families of the four men who died. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Expectations are everything In full: If you are prepared to accept that you're unlikely to clock a PB and that you'll just have to go with the flow virtually all the way round you'll have a great day here.
Best points: great medal and t-shirt, great atmosphere (especially in the tunnels and the final couple of miles), pretty good organisation for such a large scale event.
Suggestions for improvement: 1st water station needs to be earlier than 4.25 miles, perhaps experiment with a wave start (I did the Great Manchester Run and this approach seemed to be very effective there) as hanging around for 2 hours pre-start is tough.
Probably a one off for me simply because it's a lot of hassle for a non-competitive run, but back to my original point - it depends on your expectations.
As others have already written, deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who sadly died. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Could do away with the fencing near the central reservation. didn't know the main race had started. Pity all the water was near the baggage buses, should have been on both sides and nearer the front as should have more toilets. In full: Atmosphere was good , especially on the long climb upto the first water station. should also have been more toilets in the Gateshead stadium area. I was disappointed the chip strap was not long enough but had I tried it earlier I could have rectified that problem. i wasn't happy at the end that I had to try and bend to undo the strapping, I was sore enough! Why are there no T shirts over size L? Many runners like myself are on the large size so I was not able to wear my size L with pride. I was lucky in getting a bus out of South Shields quite quickly and avoided the walk to the station or ferry. All this apart I really enjoyed the whole week-end from Quayside to the race and will be entering next year. I have already booked my accomodation. Thoughts and prayers with those who lost near and dear ones. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Very enjoyable but don't moan if you get stuck behind slower runners In full: Not really sure how the organisation was at the start as I was just coming out of the loo when the gun went off! By a major bit of luck however, I managed to find a bit of fence to hop over and crossed the line after only 2 minutes!
The best plan is definitely not to take this too seriously or you'll probably get really annoyed at trying to get past slower runners. That was my plan anyway, but it all went a bit wrong as I threaded my way through the throng and, as I passed the Rear of the Year (Nell McAndrew) at about 9 miles I suddenly realised I was on a bit of a blinder.
6.5 minutes off my previous best and a frankly astounding 890th overall so there's definitely potential for a PB if you're lucky, just don't turn up EXPECTING to do one or you could be disappointed and not enjoy what is a very well supported race.
Enjoyed all the bands on the way round too. The only complaint being that there were a few too many Mackems over the last few miles. Perhaps it should FINISH in Newcastle instead! Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Great experience - but probably only once in a lifetime! In full: I had a great day - tinged with sadness at the news of the fatalities. I have only been running for 9 months, but did get a bit frustrated with people slowing to walk without consideration for runners around them. It was hot though! Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: A great weekend away In full: OK, its crowded and theres lots of beginers and the PB potential is very poor, but GIVE YOURSELF A WEEK OFF!! Just enjoy it. The crowds are fantastic, top class organisation for such a massive event. You can't help but smile as you run round, and how many other races have you run in that the world record was broken. I rest my case your honour. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Loved it! In full: I thought this was a really good day for runners of all abilitys. im slow so lined up at the back but due to the 2 sides moving at differant paces, probably started the run before others who lined up well in front of me. it was unavoidable and think people should consider this before making comment on 'irritating' slow people and walkers. there was plenty of water available near the start before people lined up, and although the official bottled water ran out there was water available.
very sad about the peole who died but i hope it helps their families to konw that they died doing something they really wanted to do and must be the type of people to have lived their lives to the full to have been lined up on the start line. Date of review: September 20, 2005
In short: Far too crowded! In full: Organisatiuon of the race was good. Very annoying having to zig-zag through so many people immediately from the start to the end. Far too busy! Water stations seemed disorganised and at times was a struggle to get water. The scenery was good and the crowds/bands very good. A fun day out. Very disturbing seeing young men so poorly. My wishes go out to the families of the 4 men who died. Date of review: September 20, 2005