In short: Crowded, pricey and no chance of a PB - but still a very special race In full: Once again Sept rolls around and off I go again to the GNR. Really enjoyed myself this year, as I ran with no thought a PB, just to run a decent run and have a good time - I'd almost forgotten how much of a do they put on. No moans about poor transport from the finish, the crowds or over-ambitious first timers putting themselves right at the front. Expected those and got them in spades. Date of review: September 18, 2005
In short: Hard as coffin nails In full: Ah, the pleasure of waking on a misty morning in the Yorkshire moors, making your way to the start when most (normal) people are still snoozing softly, and meeting up with other like-minded masochists for a run across 42 miles of relentless moors, bogs and suicidally steep ravines and climbs...It can only be the Lyke Wake Run!
The organisation was good, and all the check points staffed with lovely cheerful people, ready to feed and water the runners (the last checkpoint even had jelly babies!)
However... this race really, really tough, mentally and physically. I'm used to some off road running, but apart from doing the moors themselves, nothing can really prepare you for this one.
In short: Tonnes of toilets, b#gg#r all buses In full: First the good points - the atmosphere was enlivening and the specators were fantastic (watch out Toon!). The marshalls were also great, always friendly and encouraging. I was also amazed by the lack of lenght for toilets, caused no doubt by the organisers hiring the entire stock of portapotties of the South East.
However... the que for buses at the start was so depressing, another runner and me decided upon a little improvised orientating to get to the start, and given the delay caused by getting runners to the start from the staion, I'm glad we did. This was the same at the end, where cold and knackered we were faced with a huge que to get back.
The provision of transport really set the day back before it even began, and finished it on a sour note. For me, it was even worse than the great north run. Very, very poor organisation. Date of review: March 6, 2005
In short: My face has been scoured off by that 'brisk sea breeze'! In full: What an excuse for a weekend by the seaside! Good organisation, nice course with a challenging bit along the cliffs at the end, and was friendly enough. Cheap as chips as well. However... whilst the sun was shining it was glorious, when the wind hit you, you knew it. Freezing and full of brine - ouch. Seems like I wasn't the only one who was took excepton at being out in such conditions, as the mie markers obviously had enough and disappeared after the 7th mile. Can't blame them... Anyway, good old race and even the wind couldn't scour the smile off my face Date of review: February 20, 2005
In short: Sarf London on rainy Nov evening? Oh, go on then! In full: Depressing Sarf London, but after a quick scamper, the 'real' tourist London. Start was a nightmare with too many people wandering around or being packed tightly into spaces when we weren't entirely sure it was the right place... hmmm. BUT the 'waves' start was a top idea, with closely paced chaps and chapesses running merrily away, with only the odd 'ambitious' plodder clogging up the quite fluid route. Joy! And the HUGE yellow lollipops Nike used as km markers were brilliant. Gave me a (literal) glimmer of hope as I nearly blew up at 8km. Overall, great ideas, great atmosphere and a great opportunity to run against other similar paced runners without the intensely competitive nature of some runs. Nice marketing too. Date of review: November 29, 2004
In short: Great race, great place, good fun! In full: Really, really enjoyed myself at this, my first half marathon- charity bond wasn't too crippling either (1.4k for London Marathon? stroll on...). But again, still bothered by the slower runners/ walkers positioning themselves at clearly marked points for 6, 7 and 8 min mile points. I understand that events such as the GNR are a great introduction to running and for raising money for good causes, but c'mon- if you know you're not going to be running that fast, why position yourself so far front only to be jostled and run past by half the pack? Apart from that whinge, I thoroughly enjoyed myself all round- even though a Blue Peter presenter beat me (just)! Date of review: September 27, 2004