In short: An amazing spectacle that every runner should experience. In full: I, like the vast majority of runners are somewhat PB obsessive. This is definitely one race where you shouldn't worry about PBs and just enjoy the experience. Despite my 2nd time at the London marathon I tried for a PB and failed due to the sheer volume of people. Once I let that go I lapped up the support and camaraderie of other runners/supporters and enjoyed every minute of it. The downsides were people in the wrong pens and rude, if somewhat frustrated runners pushing their way past. Quite sad really when someone feels the need to barge their way past others at such an event. If they were that good in the first place then VLM would have placed them appropriately. Get over it! My gripes are somewhat minor and could be experienced in any race and with that in mind if you can gain entry to the VLM you have to put it on your running calendar. The experience is unforgettable, the support unrivaled, the organisation fantastic, the crowds uplifting. Date of review: April 26, 2010
In full: A gently undulating route with a mix of rural/urban surroundings. Good organisation only let down by too few toilets, not the best changing area, no technical tshirt and no date on medal/ribbon. None of these were show stoppers and did not detract from a sound race for a decent price. Date of review: March 25, 2010
In short: A well organised, friendly, value for money, race with a well stocked goody bag. In full: Why can't more races be on a sat. morning? An undulating, friendly, well marshalled race with a great goody bag made this race one I shall definately apply to do next year. Excellent value for money. Lots of water and fruit at the finish to recover with. Any chance of a proper running tshirt next year instead of a cotton one? Not a big complaint really especially as previously mentioned the value for money was fantastic. Date of review: June 6, 2009
In short: Good race. Great setting. In full: A good race with varying scenery. Excellent marshallers and a friendly atmosphere made this one to put in the calendar for next year. Date of review: May 24, 2009
In short: Wind, wind and more wind! In full: Good race with very helpful, supportive marshallers. Enough water stops but some of them only had cups of water. Not the end of the world but not very easy running with a cup. Excellent pasty at the finish spurred me on to get a PB. Date of review: March 10, 2008
In short: Great weather, excellent course, well organised. In full: A glorious winters day, a great course, and a well organised event made for a thoroughly enjoyable race. A varied interesting course with encouraging marshallers. The instant availability of the race results was fantastic. Will leave a space in the diary for next years race. Date of review: November 27, 2007
In short: The weather....oh, the weather! In full: My 2nd running of this event. (I think I must be a bad omen for the weather). Good points: Fast flat course Varied route Excellent medal
Bad points Cost of the event Crap cotton t-shirt - of no running use to anyone!
Overall I quite like this race but am seriously considering not entering next year if only because of the cost.
The weather was not a problem. It merely made the last two miles somewhat hilarious.
I parked at Gunwharf Quays and walked 15mins to the start. Same again at the finish. Had some lunch and then left the car park at 1315. 15 mins to get onto the motorway. I thought the police were very good at keeping the traffic moving. It was the stupidity of the drivers that held a lot of people up as they chose to ignore the waving policeman and stop at the red light.
Whilst I feel for the hundreds/thousands of people who parked at the event and were charged £3 for the privelige of 'professional parking', you must have known that getting away from the event would have taken ages and due to Portsmouth's location would have exacerbated the problem.
In short: Great support, fantastic goody bag, excellent organisation. In full: The route was not the most scenic however the upside to going through the housing estates was the volume of crowd support. Great organisation and the best goody bag I've ever had (except London Marathon - they gave away a free can of London Pride!!) made this half one of the best valued races I've done. Pre-race, I was sent map of route and car parks and a free car pass. Other races take note of how the Great Eastern is organised. One minor gripe - any chance of bottled water next year. Date of review: October 16, 2007
In short: A victim of its own success. In full: The atmosphere was amazing and the locals were extremely supportive. The organisation was etremely good as well, however paying for the bus seemed a little steep when you consider just how much it was to enter the race. Whilst we are on the subject of cost - that alone would put me off ever entering again. It cost as much to enter as many marathons do!! As it stands, its a fantastic spectacle for the North East however I believe that it has become a victim of its own success. Just too many people. Date of review: October 16, 2007