GNR 2002

1 to 20 of 43 messages
06/10/2002 at 20:41
Great North Run today
running 13.1 miles great
atmosphere okay
organisation at finnish to get goody bag etc. fine.
Having to weave past people who had started further down teh course when I had started where I thoughtmy finish time was
Sitting in car park for 3 hours just wanting to get home for bath or shower!!!!! need I say more particularly as I live only 20 minutes drive from finish under normal circumstance I feel sorry for those runners who had to wait this lenght of time to get out of carpark then had journey of several hours home. Surely there is a better way of organising teh car park than what happened today.
Having not competed in teh GNR for 7 years this experience has put me off mass participation events. Any one else feel the same?
06/10/2002 at 23:44
Nope , despite taking 7 hours to get home to Wales, Id do it again
Fab day
07/10/2002 at 02:19
I'll do it again, but I do feel pretty much like you do, John - tripping over amblers from barely two miles into the race was infuriating, and getting away from South Shields (and down the A1 later) was hugely tedious. I thought this year's FLM was far better organised.
07/10/2002 at 09:24
It was my first half marathon and I found it really crowded and frustrating. I was trying to find a way round people for the whole race. I started in the right section but feel that I would have been better off starting further forward but then if everyone else did that things would presumably get worse.

Are all events that crowded or is the GNR worse than most? Any suggestions for friendly ones coming up where there is a bit more space?

07/10/2002 at 11:16
Sympathies folks, but remember this is twice as big as the FLM on half the course, and the biggest event of its kind in Europe, I think. There is never going to be a good way of herding 40 000 runners and their support crew out of such a small area at the end; I thought we were clever using the metro and that was another hour wait!
It's also very hard for anyone hoping to see their friends and family running as the human eye can only register so many faces in the seconds it takes for them to pass!
Only do it if you're prepared to handle the masses and don't want a good time. Not sure I'll do it again - it's also very expensive at £24, and it's put me off doing FLM next year.
Probably most smaller regional events are easier but from experience it's possible for car parking arrangements to go wrong even when there are only a few hundred runners.
07/10/2002 at 11:23
There were 47,000 of you (plus supporters/organisers etc) according to BBC online

Huge congrats to everyone who did it hope you enjoyed it despite the crowds.
07/10/2002 at 11:28
At the London Marathon, your race number has a pen number on it, based on the estimated time you put on your entry form. I don't know how well this is policed (I started in the last pen, so I doubt anyone would bother checking whether there are faster runners in there), but I understood from the race info that anyone in, say, pen number 1 at the front, with a number 9 on their number, would be made to move back.

The numbers were pretty small, and that would make it hard to spot, but if they gave runners different coloured numbers, and got them to line up next to a specific colour, rather than an expected time, this could help sort things out a bit more. I have been at races where the time boards are hard to spot, but the barriers could be coloured to match the numbers, making it easier for people to know where they should be starting from.

I must day, watching yesterday, I firstly thought "I'd love to be there", then as I saw the huge numbers of people finishing around what I hope would be my target time for next year, I thought "maybe not". I'm pretty slow, and so I'm used to being able to run at my own pace after a mile or so. Not sure I could cope being surrounded by so many people for 13 miles!
07/10/2002 at 11:40
I was annoyed by all the people I had to weave in and out of to try to actually run. I also started at the correct number for the time I thought I'd finish in. I really think some people were just there to walk it...and not at a fast pace. Sure, people can do that, but why not have either a seperate start for them, or indicate to them during the race that they should move over to the side, not the middle of the road. On the other hand, why did they allow a race to take place with 47000 people when there wasn't room for everyone? Or maybe it's not the fault of race organizers and people should actually take it upon themselves to start where they actually think they will finish. Everything else about this race, from toilets on the course, to crowd support, to availability of food and drink afterwards (and those red planes were really fun too!) were great...the running bit was just a little difficult. I also thought Nirvana was great with the bussing to and from the race. It made the logistics of the thing really easy for me!
07/10/2002 at 11:52
Despite my previous post, I've just been on to to register an interest for next year.

cougie    pirate
07/10/2002 at 11:55
Me too ! Looks like a race to savour the occasion and atmosphere and not one to go for a PB.
WildWill    pirate
07/10/2002 at 12:04
I found the GNR is not a race for fast times, and when that clicks you just start enjoying the day.

This year I enjoyed: -

The 13.1 mile
The runners along the way
The supporters (especially those dishing out chocy biscuits)
The entertainers (official and otherwise)
The wagon wheel in my goody bag
The fast red things in the sky
The picnic provided by my wife at the end

I even enjoyed the 3-mile walk to my car to get the picnic

All-in-all a marvellous day :o)

07/10/2002 at 12:59
I'm actually relieved that others have found much to moan about as I was worried about being the only one to whinge.

I was prepared for a mass participation event to be not the place for a PB, but I found that by about half way I was actually losing interest. Maybe they should rename it "Scrum on a motorway."

On the upside I enjoyed meeting Wild Will & Sean & Olly (RW pacers) at the start, and speaking to longdistancebadger on the way round. Badge, you looked a bit stressed out chasing your pal Caroline who seemed intent on weaving through the crowds at all costs!

The weather was great and the Red Arrows were spectacular. As for next year - thanks but no thanks.
07/10/2002 at 14:25
Sorry folks but I do not think this event is organised for the whingers and those wanting to break the sound barrier ( Red arrows apart !! )
The Great North Run is not a Great North Race for the masses. It is to be expected that the elite runners will have space and full co-operation in running Pbs and for breaking records but the main thrust of the run is for the ordinary people (47.000 of them )The day is designed for club runners,joggers or even the first time participants to enjoy themselves and soak up the atmosphere that they would not otherwise every enjoy..
I did in fact get my best time this year but I would not have been miffed had I not...I find the downside of this event is the vast number of vehicles trying to leave South Shields and after a couple of years being gridlocked I now always stay overnight and travel back on clear roads although I do realised this may not be possible for many runners/spectators.
Don't be put off for 2003 - you are participating in the biggest half marathon in the world, that must be worth a few inconveiniences.
07/10/2002 at 14:41
Here! Here! to you Oldtimer. That was my 4th GNR and I will be entering next year. It is very difficult to get a pb on the day, but there are any number of 1/2 mararthons up and down the country where you can (if that's what you want). The GNR is more about being part of a fantastic day, both for runners and spectators alike. The town centre car parks allow for a speedier departure than parking by the finish, and with that many runners and spectators there are always going to be traffic jams (not much different to commuting to work on a Monday morning!) Perhaps being a little better prepared and ready for these inconveniences would help. I haven't done London yet, so I cannot make a meaningful comparison, but I will definitely be on the start line in 2003.
07/10/2002 at 14:45
I have to agree with Oldtimer. Sunday's race was my third time in as many years at the GNR and I have to say it's probably my favorite race of the year. You aren't going to get a really fast time because of the sheer weight of numbers but the atmosphere and the cameraderie amongst the supporters and the runners is second to none. I guess it's frustrating if you are trying to set pb's but for me I go to enjoy the day, meet people and have a great time. I was a bit slower round the course this year, but that was due to my lack of fitness, not by being held up by the crowds (although I have to admit that it got a bit congested by the TV cameras).
My only gripe is the same as OB's - trying to get away from the finish by car is a nightmare but I'm willing to put up with it once a year.

ND :)
07/10/2002 at 15:22
I did the Windsor Half Marathon the Sunday before the GNR for the first time, this being the only other half marathon I have entered besides the GNR. My time at Windsor was slower than the GNR which I was suprised at.must have been the geordie hospitality...Hoping to do the Amsterdam one week on Sunday. Anybody got any tips for me ?
WildWill    pirate
07/10/2002 at 16:16
Oldtimmer - Yes - be careful of the cigarettes
07/10/2002 at 16:16
Returned last night from the GNR and must say I enjoyed the whole day. We left home at 4.15 am to get to South Shields, parked in the town centre car park and made our way back to the start. As my other half is much faster than me he left me after 4 miles saying "phone me when you finish". Have you tried using a mobile when thousands of others are - all I got was "network buzy". Eventually a text message got through and we met up at the pub (where else). Had something to eat back at the car giving time for traffic to ease a bit and then home with no real traffic problems encountered. Great day and we'll be back next year.
07/10/2002 at 17:27
Nessie, Tryer - if I haven't popped my clogs I will see you next year. Another good little race for anybody wishing to travel to the North East is the 'Blayden Race'...Now I know many will have heard the song but even like many up here did not know there was a road race. It is a odd distance ( 6 miles) so you would have to be better than me to work out your time but the atmosphere is great with bands playing the old tune along the course.
07/10/2002 at 18:54
Have to agree with old timer
Those who want to break pbs should Not enter this race
Its all about taking part, two of the people I spoke to pre race spent last year having a policeman kissing competition and finished in 3.5 hours!!
It gets people out running, and shows them that it isnt jist a sport for really fit and elite people!!!
Surely this is an important fact about running, the elite should be encouraging those walkers who at least made the effort to be there
You all do it on the forums with us slow runners, but if I was logging on to the forum for the first time and saw some of the wwwwwwwhinges, id be really put off
Us slowcoaches have to have one race where we feel good, and I think the GNR is it
The public support was (mostly) fantastic, poeple were even offering us bicuits from their tins at home
So come on you lot, give us tortoises some credit, we did try, even if walking and im sorry to say that some of your posts made me feel inadequate
I will definitely be entering next year, and dont really care what time I do, but will try to raise more money
Rant over
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