Are the routes supplied before the day of the event? It would be good to familiarise ourselves with the route description beforehand. I think I saw in last year's forum that the route description was emailed.
I can see the arguments on both sides. Organisers concerned with health and safety and runners wishing to listen to music when they run as they feel it helps them. I have completed 37 races in the past 2 years, some with music and some without, and I feel that music can be of great help when you are feeling fatigued or unable to pick up/maintain the pace. Provided the music volume does not prevent a marshal from instructing the runner they should be allowed as we have enough of a police state as it is already; individuals can decide for themselves and accept the risk that comes with the activity. Perhaps adding a disclaimer to the rules and conditions before signing on to a race that the runners use music and mp3 players entirely at their own risk would satisfy the legal matter for organisers and allow runners the choice.
44 year old overweight runner (6ft 2in and 22 stone)
Running since May 2006- have completed a 30-miler, 5 marathons and 16 half marathons amongst other races (half mara PB 2h 36min 46sec in Bath last year). Did GNR last year for Cancer Research UK.
Determined and mentally strong but need structure to running as my working life (GP) makes it difficult to see what I can do (losing weight aside) in order to improve. Already have place for GNR and have booked hotel, but would love to find how to improve-so if you pick me I promise to give 110%
I think the key here is to ensure you gradually build up your weekly long runs to the distance required to see you through the half marathon; as far as for the other runs I agree that listening to your body is best. If you are looking for a certain finishing time though then you need to incorporate some speedier sessions relatively regularly as well, to ensure your running speed is improved and sustained. Good luck!