In short: Great Place to Run, a Little Late in the Year! In full: Recommend travelling to this race early, arriving at around 7am and parking on the common, you are only a minute's walk from the start! Clarence Pier is a great place to go to before and after the race, the hotel can provide toast and fruit juice before the run, and a little bar on the front provides milk shakes for afterwards. Three tier starting race, so even the slowest runner could start at the front (of the green zone) if they wanted. You get to see parts of Portsmouth Dockyards you wouldn't normally. Final part of the race is along the front, a short video is made of your finish, make sure you stick to the left or right hand side to be visible! Once the race is over, head to the Wimpy on Clarence, get something to eat and more importantly, drink and enjoy the view of the huge traffic jams to get out of there. Once it clears, you can head to your car and drive off. Wouldn't recommend race transfers we never saw the buses that were supposed to provide it or any signs to them, besides it's cheaper to park on the common. Great race but a little late in the year, the sea breeze was a little strong, especially when you are in the green zone and have a long wait to start. Also disappointed with Channel 5 in that they seem to think that the elite runners are the only people worth providing coverage of. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: I keep coming back so it can't be that bad! In full: Yes there's problems with race (which have been covered in many reviews so I won't repeat them all here) but you have to expect it when you sign up to a what is essentially a mass participation charity run on an island! Worst bit is the price, £40 is steep for a 10 miler, but that's the price of participating in the Great Run series. Somehow the race is compelling, every year I have a few gripes but somehow find myself back on the start line the next year trying to beat my PB....5th year in a row now and somehow I know I'll be back next year.... Date of review: December 14, 2012
In short: Excelltne race with friendly, welcoming support In full: I entered this back in January, not knowing what to expect as a first time race. It was clear where to go, and where to wait for the start - but then I am perhaps biased as a Portsmouth based runner. There were complaints about baggage stowage and the time this took for people to get through. This prevented me from meeting people who had travelled as they were stuck in baggage. I've also heard criticism about wave control. Simple solution for me. If you want to run, get there early and try to get near the front of your wave. This worked for me, and I achieved a great first time race without having to squeeze past too many walkers. All in all, I would recommend this. Only criticism for me... The cost! Problems is, as long as people are prepared to pay this every year, the race will always sell out. Its a win win sitiation for the Great Run team. Date of review: November 7, 2012
In short: Expensive but enjoyable race In full: Main negative is that it's pricey. £40 is a pretty ludicrous price for a 10-miler. That aside, and the busy trains into town (25k runners and their supporters, but no extra trains = chaos), I really enjoyed the race. Very well supported, nice scenery, very flat, with very well rund drinks stations with bottles rather than cups (thankfully). I started at the back of the orange wave and had very few issues with crowding/people pushing past/walkers so I can't fault it for that either. Outside of the price I think it's great fun and would do again. Date of review: November 6, 2012
In short: A s a beginner this year at 50 it was tough but glad Ive done it,great overall atmosphere In full: Only negative was the people who insisted on shoving through runners obviously together when there were other possible overtaking routes (possibly one of the negative reviewers Ive just read!) I WAS in the correct band and finished a respectable 1 hour 50 - a miracle as I was knocked sidways a dozen times by not very nice people thankfully the minority. I trained hard but wldnt do it again without a lot more training 10k to 10 miles is tough,also given me the push to lose that extra 21IB (agaon!)as it would have been easier, loved the scenery,havent seen the victory for 35 years plus!Unecessary wasted power drinks if you follow the advice beforehand and ensure youre well hydrated you shdnt need that many drink stations,most of it was wasted.Great organisation, great pack altho colour of shirt a little disappointing. Date of review: October 31, 2012
In short: A fabulous big race, some great scenery especially up close to HMS Victory. Loads of bands playing, although that does seem to tail off half way round. Crowd support is fabulous and pretty good for the spectators to get around. can be windy! Date of review: October 31, 2012
In short: Typical Great Run event - big and bland In full: I like big races, so I'm a sucker for a Great Run event, but they do come with negatives. Course is going to be crowded, and usually quite bland - running on wide roads through residential areas. The size of the event is part of the attraction, and that means an effort to get in and out. I planned this one to get in early, have breakfast in the nearest Wetherspoon to wait until the race start, and then to have lunch in the pub afterwards while waiting for the crowds to depart, so it worked out fine for my party, but I can understand that for those who just want a quick run and a getaway the Great Runs are going to be a problem.
The best part of the course is through the old harbour - that was quite nice, but overall not a very interesting course.
The support from the crowds was very good, especially as it wasn't an inviting day. Amongst the best support outside of London events and the Hastings Half that I've experienced in the UK. Certainly better than the Great North.
Goodie bag was usual - no surprises or disappointments there. The usual ignoring of time zones so the course was packed all the way round. Whatever you do, you're either going to be blocked in front, or blocking someone from behind. Great Runs are not for setting PBs, they are for enjoying the experience.
The t-shirt was rather sad. A corporate advert, a poor design, and a dull colour. I'll be using it for gardening and then as rags.
My time was 1.45, which is what I expected. The low air pressure doesn't enable me to breathe easy and run fast (due to less oxygen in the air), and the crowds inhibit getting into a rhythm, so I didn't expect a PB.
Overall, I enjoyed the run, and the whole experience of the weekend, and I'm glad I did it, but that run is now ticked off, and I shan't be doing it again. Date of review: October 31, 2012