In short: And another one in the bag In full: Another wonderful day in the great north. Thoroughly enjoyed myself, despite the east coast only putting on one train, which was an hour late. Still, at least I got to follow the England game on my phone.
Usual start - lots of people all wanting clear tarmac, but got myself free in no time and I was off. Met up with the 1:30 pacer a few times and man, his pacing was all over the place - 7'45/mi one mile, 6'30/mi the next - what was that all about? Messed my pacing up a little, but hey, I know better (run my own race and not rely on another to dictate theirs, duh). Nice of the organisers to sort out a brief shower at the end also - cooled me down in the last half mile somewhat.
Chip/text/watch times all slightly different, but a new course PB for me on little run training so I'm grabbing that with both hands. I'll never get a HM PB on this course, so it's all good. Oh, and I met Eric Pollard. Good times.
Told all the marshalls I'll see them next year, and I will. Roll on 2012 Date of review: September 19, 2011
In short: A lot better In full: Did the sussex beacon back in 2007 and in 2009, and the first was great, the second was terrible. Thankfully, the organisers have got rid of running round the lanes and back onto the roads. All good stuff on the course.
Good baggage, good start finish, and I'm not bothered about the t-shirt or goody bag.
One very minor gripe would be moving the first pen from sub 1:25 to sub 1:30. Yes, there were a bunch of plodders in sub 1:25, but then there's always going to be, isn't there. Poor deluded souls. And at least there was enough space on the grand parade for them not to block the path of those faster. Date of review: February 21, 2011
In short: Another year, another great GNR In full: Long time runner of GNR, I still love it. Yes, it's big, yes slower runners get in your way, and yes, the transport at the end can be a mare. It's not to everyones tastes. But... it was my first half, and I still love it, warts and all. The atmosphere is amazing, the people fantastic, and it's a great day out. Plus this year the sun wasn't shining, which helped me get a new course PB. I'll be back next year. Date of review: September 20, 2010
In short: An experience In full: Being primarily a triathlete, I volunteered for the work team. I treated it as a bit of off-season fun, not taking it too seriously, starting at the back, bit getting too competitive etc. Yes it was challenging, but all good fun with it. For those that want something more, try a proper fell race. One minor gripe though - I'm fed up of people banging on about technical t-shirts. Cotton is just fine, and if you don't like the shirt, it makes a great duster/ bike cleaning rag/ etc. Date of review: December 7, 2009
In short: Just how hot was it? In full: Organisation, bar the baggage buses, was superb as always. I forgot my race number, but got another sorted at the expo on Sat without any great drama. Good to see they kept the urinals at the start - so much better for us lads, and helps to keep the ques for the toilets down. Sorry to see St.Johns were so busy, but absolutely fantastic support yet again. Always a pleasure to run. See you next year. Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Sun, fun and run (ning) Oop North In full: Looks like the the weather and organisation gods were smiling upon Tyneside (again). A beautiful sunny day with a slight breeze to cool you down, with excellent organisatioin... glad I wasn't in London! The pen system mostly seemed to work, and I only experienced a few muppets in the first few miles. Finish was uplifting as always and yes, theres hassle getting out of South Shields, but it's what you expect. Can't wait for next year. Howay the lads! Date of review: October 6, 2008
In short: Sea, sun and sore legs In full: As usual, no big problems with the race thanks to the organisers, with a good mix of runners on the course. People mostly lined up according to their estmiated time, but I was still dodging joggers after 5 miles.
I did it a couple of years ago on the old course (out all the way to Rottingdean) which I preferred to the inital run 'round Brighton. Sure, you get to see the lanes etc, but it's a bit congested in parts and quite difficult in parts. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of the change, but hey, there you go.
One point for the other runners though - if there's 10 to 15 minutes to the kick off, and there's a que at the toilets - get your non-running chums out of the toilet que so us runners can get sorted. They only need to wait another a few minutes and they can have the pick of the toilets! Date of review: February 17, 2008
In short: Blimey In full: My first 10K in a while, but managed a good respectable time nonetheless. The rain and wind made things a bit more testing than usual, but a big, big thank you to the organisers and the marshals.
Standing out in a park on Sunday morning, in the cold, the rain and the blustery wind... and still being encouraging and cheerful. They're definitely on Santa's good girl/boy list now. Date of review: December 3, 2007
In short: Another year.. another really Great North Run In full: I'll admit to really liking this race. I spent a lot of time in Newcastle many years ago and it'll always have a special place in my heart, and the GNR was my first half. Confession over with.
The start was better again this year, with moving the baggage buses to the road parallel to the race start, bags of toilets and the start pens were well manned. You can't legislate for the nutters who wildly over estimate their predicted finish time, but everyone who I started and ran with for the first half of the race seemed to be of a similar or better standard than me.
Race itself and finish were as lovely as ever, transport at the end the same old pain.
No PB for me this year due to me recovering from the ironman last month, but then again I set out to enjoy myself, and succeeded royally in that respect.
Thanks again to all the supporters, to Newcastle and for the organisation for putting it on. It's not cheap, it's huge but it makes my year. Date of review: October 1, 2007
In short: Started badly, got worse and ended on a low point. And if I ever, ever hear Keep On Running again, I will smash the decks. In full: Regular marathon and GNR runner, first time London. Heard it was overrated, heaving with humanity and loud, but I never realised just by how much. I also heard it was pb friendly course, but only if you were elite or good-for-age, otherwise forget it. This was spot on. Que one long(timewise, before any wags slam me), hot and crowded marathon.
On the plus side it was exceptional organisation, brilliant in fact. Gallons of water, lucozade and water at regular spots. The support was incredible, but annoying at times - quit with the whistles for gawd sakes.
Will I apply next year? Probably, but if I get in, I'll have to think long and hard before accepting and bunking off Paris.