In short: Great Fun - Real mix of runners - relatively easy course In full: This was my second ever race, the first being a hideous 10k! I loved the event - the race itself was through historic portsmouth (the best part) and through a rather dingy residential estate. I was losing it towards mile 9 but was encouraged by a lovely older gent who was running also who psychologically really helped me continue. Lots of lovely people running - have booked for next year. Down points - if you park near the course - expect long delays when leaving. Also, toilet queues a bit on the long side! Date of review: April 28, 2012
In short: Great Race, PB Potential, Good Crowds In full: I continue to come back to run the GSR for the crowds around the course. For me the biggest issue is the uninspring route between mile 3-5... apart from that it's lovely and as the race develops year on year it gets better and more organised.
Water in bottles is really appreciated as well as the Jelly Babies at Mile 9.
Biggest headache for me is travel. Trying to get in and out of portsmouth on race day is hell and shouldnt be underestimated. If you can hang around until the evening - I recommend it. I've tried car (3 hrs in a traffic jam) and train (cramped train full with runners (and no seat) but a longer walk). Date of review: March 27, 2012
In short: Crowded course and poor organisation In full: I read the race information pack and it said several times that lots of parking was available in the town centre, and to follow the signs when we got to Portsmouth. After sitting in queues of traffic for over an hour (for a 15 min journey) the only signs I saw were ones saying "Great South Run, Congestion possible"- no directions to car parks at all. As it was getting close to the start time I found a car park and then had to walk/ run to the start (passing the 3 and 2 mile markers). When I got close I asked a marshal where the bag drop was but none of them knew. The map in the race guide was not that clear so it took a while to find the bag drop, by which time I had missed my wave start time. This I did not mind as I joined the back wave. I think they needed more than 3 waves though as at several points you had to stop (not even to walk, just stop completely) because it narrowed and there were too many people. It is a very flat course but a PB might be hard because of all the stopping. I did enjoy all the runners in fancy dress and at the back it did have a great atmosphere. There were lots of people out to cheer the runners on, which was great because the weather was drizzling and getting windy, but the scenery was very uninspiring- lots of housing estates. I had arranged to meet my partner at the end, as most races have a bit finishers chute, but this proved much harder because they were very fierce at getting you out of there straight away. Finally (and this is more of an issue with the town council I think) the town centre car park (which was a good couple of miles from the start) was so congested that we spent three (yes, 3) hours at a complete stand still trying to get out. They could have come to direct people down the up-ramp, or at least sent people to direct (as there was a bit of road rage when other cars tried to push in the queues). But as I said that was probably the council, but it is another reason why I rated this race so low. I also feel it is expensive for only a 10 mile race. Date of review: December 27, 2011
In short: Another 'Great' South Run! In full: This event is great fun with the potential for a PB due to its flat course. The GSR has a carnival atmosphere along with huge crowds to encourage and drive you along. It attracts some of the top runners and back of the field runners alike. You won’t find a better event to inspire those new to running. OK, it’s a bit on the pricey side but worth doing it as a one off but be warned, you might find it addictive and come back year after year like so many others!
In short: A quality event, probably now too many runners, Flat but p.b potential is reduced due to the heavy head wind over the final 2 miles. In full: Have run this 4-5 times now, if you are a faster runner it is essential to start near the front of your wave, if not you will spend the first 2-3 miles slaloming. Don't underestimate the head wind as miles 9 and 10 can be a real p.b killer. I normally run then jog to the car for my warm down and a quick escape out of Southsea. Date of review: November 8, 2011
In short: 2nd time doing this race - still my favourite hands down! In full: This is my favourite run of the calendar, hands down. The atmosphere is fab and the organisation is excellent. I love the fancy dress outfits and the efforts people make to get their charities noticed. And you cannot beat the hoards of kids, old folk and bands that line the streets to get us all round. High fives and jelly babies on every corner. Very much PB potential if you can navigate your way through the crowds of walkers and slower runners, definitely worth fighting your way to the start of your field if you want to get a good start. We stayed over / last year we got the train and I can highly recommend either of these for ease of movement in and out of the city. I can't wait for next year! Date of review: November 8, 2011
In short: You have do the "Great Runs" but you'll pay for it in more ways than one. In full: If you're reading this you must be unsure as to whether you'll run the Great South Run. If you're not sure then i'd say find a low key 10 mile race local to you. What are the positives? Well it's potentially a fast course and it's not every day you get to run with some of the world best runners and overtake a former olympian (i passed Iwan Thomas along the way round) you also have non stop support from the crowd all the way round plus if you're lucky you may get on Channel 5. Negatives? Well the fast course promise does have a couple of conditions...you need to be right at the front otherwise you'll get pegged back by the sheer volume of runners (24000 in 2011 i beleive) and then there is the weather. The last 2 miles you are running along the sea front(and in 2011 into a headwind) so after 8 miles that's the last thing you need as you want to charge on for a faster finish. That said you need to run these big events to a) say you've done them and b) appreciate the low key local races that go on every week near you. Date of review: November 6, 2011
In short: Loved the Great South, will definitely be back next year In full: What an amazing day and a well organised event!
What I loved: Name on race no (nice touch!) Once at Southsea, everything was so easy to find Baggage room was a great place to keep warm and relax before (& crash after) the race! Toilets were actually ok - thought plenty Support from crowds amazing and music on route really uplifting! Loved the goodie bag!
A few niggles: Waves were very mixed - people walking from the off - definitely ran more than 10 miles weaving around people (but on the plus, it stopped me from setting off too fast!!) Shame the medal didn't have the date on it
A lot of reviews mention the nightmare getting in and out of Southsea - I drove down from Bath, straight to a Park & Ride at Portsmouth, and was transported to the venue with no hassle at all. The return back to the carpark was as easy. Would highly recommend.
A totally stress free and fun day - I will be back! Date of review: November 6, 2011