In short: Review for 2012: 'I'll be back' In full: This was my first Great north run and hopefully not my last.I thought the atmosphere was fantastic and I got a real boost from being amongst so many other runners,I've only ever done 2 halfs before and the number of runners was less than a tenth of this one's. As I'm from Peterborough which must be one of the flattest areas in the country I was worried about the hills but at the risk of bragging I hardly noticed the inclines at all and if anything I found it easier than the local Great eastern run,maybe I just had a good day. I do think this race could have been improved if there was a way of encouraging the slower runners to leave part of the race line open for those attempting to overtake as I often found myself having to dodge slower runners but to be fair to the organisers it was probably my fault for underestimating my finish time and therefore starting in a slower group. For those travelling by public transport be prepared for a long wait for the Metro back into Newcastle,me and my son had to wait well over an hour but even this wasn't so bad as the great atmosphere of this run even extended to the queuing afterwards. Overall: it was a Great day and I will certainly be back.
In short: Far too many people gave the wrong race time In full: This was the first time I had done the GNR and was looking forward to it. My previous PB was the Cambridge Half Marathon which was flat and much less crowded. The pens were very crowded and despite getting their early we had to wait to get into the pen. What I noticed within the first 3 miles was the large amount of people walking who had been in the pen in front of us, how they got into the faster pens I have no idea. The first mile was spent with a view of men peeing up either side of the road - not a pretty sight and obviously a sign there were not enough toilets. The route was good with some inclines and bands along the way. One annoying thing was the number of children squirting water on the runners whilst volunteers looked on, this is not what runners need on a rainy day and these children should have been stopped. I also think that the energy drinks should be provided in smaller bottles resulting in less wastage, it would also be nice if other runners did not just drop the bottle in the middle of the road or stop abruptly and walk in the middle of the road, a little bit of consideration for others wouldn't go amiss. Anyway, I managed a PB by 4 minutes which I was pleased with and the finish along the seafront was lovely. Dont think I would do it again as it is too expensive and took us about 90 minutes to get out of the traffic. Date of review: September 19, 2012
In short: Not a race for a best time but crowds brilliant In full: 2012 - A good race for beginners, quite hilly and long parts on a camber. Excellent support but probably wont do again as too many people and at times the dodging between folk seemed endless....children on route superb giving jelly babies / yobs throwing powerade whilst hiding behind bushes disgraceful....keep reminding myself its a charity event and did not expect to better my time.....City games on saturday was must attend event fabulous.... Date of review: September 19, 2012
In short: 2012 review as there is nowhere else to put it In full: One to do and as a newish runner was glad to do it. I ended up in the pink zone as when I entered I had no idea how long it would take me therefore took 40 minutes after the gun to reach start line. I have run 6 races this year and as usual as someone who runs every step whatever the distance I get frustrated with those walking within the first km and blocking the way. I ran far more than 13.1 miles by weaving my way from begining to end. It is hilly but I had no problems as I was well trained. Just overall I was dissapointed as it did not feel as special as I had hoped, support was good appart from kids squirting water at runners which on a wet day I could have done without Date of review: September 19, 2012
In short: Too crowded but support FANTASTIC!!!! In full: 2012 review: Way too crowded to get any speed up and for me way too many walking the course! I know its a big charity event but its also meant to be a run. The support is fantastic though with homemade biscuits,chocolates,pizza,fruit and sweets being handed out and everybody wanting to high five you. I must say though that anyone who trains on any mild undulating hills wont find this course challenging at all, the hills really aren't bad at all in my opinion and i dont train on mountains! All in all not a race to enjoy if u want a time but if u want a great atmosphere there's nothing better. I wouldnt do it again simply for the fact that the travelling is a pain and if you choose to stay over it van become quite an expensive weekend. thankyou for the memories Newcastle and South shields Date of review: September 18, 2012
In short: Excellent race, terrible beginning organisation In full: Supposed to be 55000+ runners in 2012 but due to weather only about 44000+ turned up yet there wasn't enough room in the 'zones' for the runners. People had to queue to get into their starting zone and then the gates were closed and they were turned away. This meant from supposed to be starting in the third wave I started back in about wave 8 and count myself lucky for getting in there! However saying that... overall extremely well organised and with amazing amounts of support. The best parts were going through the tunnels 'army style' :-) Date of review: September 18, 2012
In short: Really pleased I did it but accommodation is a problem. In full: Let's start with the biggest negative - decent accommodation is almost impossible to find as the hotels rack their prices up considerably for this weekend. I ended up in a horrid guest house miles out of town and I know many others who fared similarly.
The atmosphere at the start is brilliant and running over the Tyne Bridge while the Red Arrows fly overhead is just fabulous. The problem then is that the next 11 or so miles are as dull as dishwater with little atmosphere and just a dual carriageway for scenery. The last mile running down to the sea is enjoyable though and you just have to do a sprint finish! The Red Arrows are there again at the finish which is great but it does mean that the crowds are watching them instead of cheering you!
Good idea that they print your name on your running number - you get loads of personal shouts of encouragement as a result.
Medal and t-shirt are really good and I am proud to have done this event. I didn't find the hills too bad but then I do live in Wales so maybe I am used to gradients. I would do this one again but getting to Newcastle by train from Wales was just horrendous while the rip off accommodation issue is likewise off putting. If you live within a couple of hours drive of Newcastle though you'd be daft to miss this one. People obviously do though because despite what they say there is no way there we 50,000 on this one, nearer 35,000 I would say based on what the marshals told me.