In short: Employment opportunities for jobsworths...... In full: Why hold the GNR on Tyneside? - why of course - to give all those grumpy people some casual employment for one day a year.
Now I am from the North East and think it's a friendly place BUT the Great Run people have done well to head-hunt the elite force of grumpy old men who staffed the event.
BUS DRIVER(S) "Put yer BAG ON THAT BUS" - pointing to the buses furthest away.
Security Guard at the entrance to Green Pen "NO YOU CAN'T LEAVE THE PEN ONCE YOU'VE GONE IN" me - "but i need to go and use the toilet" - this was 90 minutes before the race start GUARD "NO YOU CAN'T LEAVE THE PEN ONCE YOU'VE GONE IN" -so I went anyway.
It's just as well the fantastic crowds made up for the jobsworths and pain in the ***** who staffed the start of the event. The staff at the end were fantastic (and smiled - unlike the staff at the start).
Great scenery - Red Arrows flying over the Tyne Bridge as runners went over was SHEER MAGIC!!!!
In short: Does what it says on the tin!!! In full: I've never done a race around a factory before and this was very interesting (I'm not being sarcastic!!!!) Massive assembly plant / production line and the race route skirted the perimeter and at times went between the various buildings. I hadn't realised the site was so big and the production line so long.....
Excellent marshalling - thank you marshalls! Route as flat as a pancake (even flatter than Darlington!!!) and would have been a PB except for the hot conditions - several people were visibly suffering. Route TOTALLY traffic free!!!! and was on double-lane roads!!
I would have liked to have a bottle of water at the drinks station half-way, the cup of water just wasn't enough to satisfy!!!! Considering the weather - more water should have been available at the station but I think the organisers were very wary of the litter problem - inconsiderate runners chuck empty bottles and caps everywhere!!! (I always carry mine until I find a bin - usually at the finish.)
Great value for £10 - a decent t-shirt and there was face painting and a bouncy castle (my three year old son extracted maximum value from those (and my wife had to deal with the tantrums while I ran .HA HA HA :-) ) Sports shop / stand with gait analysis was available. Burger van outside and a nice bar was inside Nissan's sport centre. Loads of parking - right next to the race start and HQ!!!!
There was a 3k and 5k fun run before the main event. Next year, son and wife will do 3K fun run while I mind the baby then I'll do the 10K. Afterwards, my wife mentioned to me how impressed she was that so many kids had taken part in the fun runs - a very good idea - well done again for the organisers!!
Overall this was a good day out and I'll certainly be returning next year. Well done to the bod who came up with the idea to stage the race here - original!!!! If anyone on these reviews or the forum complains about the setting or scenery - tell 'em to look again at the race title - what does 'Nissan' suggest to you? - a 17th century castle and scenic pleasure grounds????
This was a sound day's racing - "Does exactly what it says on the tin!"
In short: Good Organisation - apart from inaccurate instructions re. parking In full: Well marshalled.
The Information Sheet sent with the race number said, "There is ample free parking on site. Please do not park in the adjacent streets". This was a statement that was worthy of Bliar: I arrived 45 mins. before the start time and was told by a rather rude and unhelpful marshall that the (tiny) car park was full. I parked in a nearby street. Maybe they will disqualify me and confiscate my t-shirt.... Date of review: July 12, 2006
In short: Good administration but lacked marshalls In full: Pre-race administration was excellent.
BUT (and it's a big but!!!) when you got to the top of the hill it was like the Marie Celeste and there wasn't a marshall in sight. People started running in all directions: I followed the people in front of me.
The end of the race saw the farcical situation of runners approaching the finish line from three different directions.
Definitely more marshalls needed.
The youths (without helmets), on motorcycles/trail bikes,who rode across the course before the race started only added to the ambience of a magical evening out in Sunderland..... Date of review: June 14, 2006
In short: Scorchio!!!! In full: Great course - shame about the weather... Broiling hot-Now I'm a very fit person and did the FLM this year but today I died just after mile 2 and was v.v.v. tempted to give up and walk back to start. I managed to keep going and had to take v. frequent walk breaks.
Marshalls were fantastic - especially with regard to the conditions. They offered extra water at each stop and put on an extra water station. Encouragement from marshalls and other runners was fantastic and made my day. I hooked up with another runner from mile 4 onwards and we kept each other going - sorry i didn't ask your name!
Two suggestions for next year: 1. Plant more trees by the side of the road so we can run in the shade :-) 2. I'm from the north east and it would be wrong if I left you in this state. I need to tell you this - the beer should be served cold!!! get those bottles chilled next year ;-) Date of review: June 11, 2006
In short: What a hill!!!! In full: A warm but windy day. Beautiful course - mainly tarmac with a bit of trail work. Slow at the start (i didn't push to the front) BUT that hill soon opened up the field. If you do lots of hillwork in your training then you'll feel the benefit on this course. Such a warm day made that cup of water at the half-way point seem like mana from heaven. T-Shirt is good quality and I like that shade of blue! Date of review: May 28, 2006
In short: A good morning out + its for charity!!! In full: measured 9.41K on my GPS - would have liked a little extra (to make a full 10K).
T-shirt, mars bar and ki-ora type cup drink at finish (very retro - took me back to Saturday afternoons at the cinema when I was a kid) - strangely though, exactly the type of empty calories I crave at the end of a run!
Excellent parking and very easy to get to.
Would definitely do it again next year - especially as it's for charity!!! Date of review: February 11, 2006