In short: Better start then previous years In full: The start of the race is definitely better than previous years, less congested, so less weaving between runners. The pens are not policed, so there are 'slower' coloured bibs in 'faster' pens, but not a problem. Somehow, the start and the finish are not very well marked this year, I was looking for the finish arch, but it was merely 2 flags at the side indicating the finish! It was well organised, a good race, another PB. I wish they bring back the medals. Used to have medals years ago! Perhaps more corporate sponsorship required. Maybe we'll get a goody bag as well next year ;) I live 5 minutes walk away from the start, so I'll be doing it again nevertheless Date of review: November 18, 2013
In short: Great atmosphere In full: This is my 8th GNR. The number of toilets don't get any more, or at least it feels like they don't increase in numbers despite more and more entrants to the race. So I suggest get your bags onto the luggage buses, then join one of the long queues for the toilets. If you are male, please use the urinals which hardly has any queues, this will help lessen the people on the toilet queues!
Be prepared for constant weaving all the way from start to the end, even if you're in front with orange numbers. It is still possible to get a PB if the GNR is the only half marathon you ever do!
One of the most expensive half marathons around, but I'd still do it year after year for the atmosphere, it's addictive. It's worth paying the membership for 3 year guarantee into the GNR, you'll still need to pay the entry fee each time. Date of review: September 16, 2013
In short: Good race. Start categories may need readjusting In full: At the start: Usual long queues for toilets at millennium square, but accidentally stumbled across toilets apparently for elite runners where there were no queues! The pace makers were confusing. We thought we were in the sub 50 group, only to see the sub 55 sign walking it's way past us! The start of the new route divides immediately into 2 lanes, mega-congestion especially on the right, slowing down ridiculously to walking pace. As the corporate teams started ahead of the masses, there were many with different abilities, causing a lot of weaving. Many were walking side by side at 1 to 2km. Crowds were very encouraging. Volunteers were superb. I hope the organisers change the category start next year and either have a greater staggered start to allow the corporate teams to have more time ahead of the masses, or to put them behind the masses. I'd do it again as I live in Leeds. Date of review: July 14, 2013
In short: Big race atmosphere! In full: First time doing the GMR, and would do it again. I was in the orange wave, didn't feel congested or blocked, or may be it's because I expect what there is to expect from a big race.
Arrived by train, and asked a few marshalls/info guys where the baggage buses were, and I was very surprised that most of them can't tell me where they are, even though I was showing them my map that was sent by Great Run! Some of them had the same map, knew the name of the road, but couldn't tell me where it is! It's of no consolation or help that there were poor signage to where the baggage buses were until you were quite near them! That's my only gripe, that the info people weren't very helpful, despite many of them around!
Plenty of toilets about, hardly any queues unless you wanted to go about 15 minutes before each pen shuts.
Where we stood in the pen, we couldn't see or hear the warm up, tried very hard to follow, but eventually people around me gave up, and we did out own warm up!
The course was flat. Got my PB of 46:23, so pleased.
It was surreal as we walked back to the train station with our medals and T-shirts, walking by the later waves who haven't started their run yet!
Great atmosphere, great support. I love big races, so would do it every year now. Date of review: May 27, 2013
In short: May not be the best organised but would run again In full: Done a handful of times and would continue doing again, could be biased by the fact I only live less than 10 minutes from the start! Another PB after all these years, but like any relatively big races, there's a lot of weaving around all through the 10km, not just at the start!
Read they were giving out Nectar gels at 5km (which was new I think, don't remember this from previous years. However, did not notice any such gels being given out!
My gripe about the technical T-shirts is that, was there actually a size S, as there were only medium T-shirts available, and I had ticked small on my application, but now can't wear my way-too-large medium to run in, but felt I can't complain as I actually got a T-shirt compared to those who didn't, although they can now write in and asked for the right size!
I agree with the others that the finish was poorly staffed, there was a sign and a bucket on the floor for the chips, but unless you know where to look for it, there is no one to tell you where it is.
Would love to have medals again, they were given out many years ago, but not in the recent years.
Overall, I wasn't too bothered by the organisational issues, maybe because I ran it a few times already and saw past these issues. Will definitely do it again. Date of review: November 19, 2012
In short: A well organised BUPA run In full: Registered the week before as a last minute decision to use it as a warm up for the GNR. First time doing it, read about the killer hills, so had advanced warning but that did not make the hills any easier, especially near the finish!
There was a 'peaceful' feel at the start. People seemed to be very subdued - may be due to the heat, it was 17c but sunny so quite hot for a run.
Very impressed with the number of toilets available, it's the only race so far I've attended where there were more toilets than queues! Does make a huge difference not to feel rushed at the start.
I thought the water and shower stations were slightly off where they were stated to be on the booklet, which could have affected some people's running plans, although it is only 10k.
It was typical BUPA prices, but there is a nice medal and a t-shirt (not technical) and some goodies in the goody bag.
Overall it was enjoyable, and I would do it again next year. Will make it a regular annual event, only as it is easy to travel to for me from Leeds Date of review: September 25, 2012
In short: It's addictive, once you start, you can't stop! In full: It was my 7th GNR, and thankfully, it does feel easier each passing year! I used to really feel the hills, but not anymore, don't notice them anymore.
Having started from different zones in the past (green, white, various oranges), I'd say the the starting position does affect the overall time despite it being chipped timed.
The atmosphere and the crowd is always electric. The only negatives are the toilet queues - why year after year, the number of toilets just never increase despite very long queues. This was not a problem at the recent Great Yorkshire Run where there were more toilets than queues! Also, the times on the lollipop the pacemakers were carrying were very small. When they are far ahead, the words pacemaker were large enough but not the times! I think if they had only the time on, that should be sufficient, we know they are pacemakers. Thankfully they had the times on their T-shirts, large enough, but again not visible when they're surrounded by crowds of runners!
Overall I highly recommend it, especially for first timers to a half marathon. Date of review: September 21, 2012