In short: Second year for me and I'm just as impressed as last year In full: Love the stadium finish, love the facilities, good T-Shirt, great course (not some flat bland nothing course), it really gets you thinking. Parking's fine, cost is great.
Just wish I'd finished it! Had to pull up at 1mile with a back prob.
I will be back next year though. Date of review: April 1, 2007
In short: Poor start and finish organisation spoilt a good day. In full: The start needs to be moved to a bigger area. 5,500 people in a sidestreet with a 90 degree turn after 100m is a recipe for disaster. There were no estimated start times so there were (as always) slow runners in the path of faster ones. It's always going to happen but with some better signage at the start and better info in the pack it could be improved upon. The finish was slightly better but still chaotic. But the bag storage was well handled.
If there were any mile/km markers (I'm told there were) I didn't see them. Bigger next time? And miles too, I've heard they were all in KMs, some of us older folks can't do metric!!! Mile signs please.
The T-Shirt is usable so no gripe there and I can understand why no goody bags etc as it's a pure charity event.
But my usual gripe has surfaced again. StJohn's/Red Cross etc were conspicuous by their absence. 5,500 and many of them as novices can and will have medical probs (I saw 2 go down badly). Medical cover for these events has to take a higher priority.
I'll be back though. Date of review: November 26, 2006
In short: Not flat but forgiving. Worth a day out In full: Liked the course even if it was a tad hillier than I was expecting, duty rumour was that it was mostly flat with one hill!!! Good traffic control, great support on the course and seafront. Plenty to do afterwards, carvery lunches, pubs etc.
Water stop at 4miles could have been sooner but other than that no probs at all. And a real bargain at £7, no goody bag but for that price I wasn't expecting a medal so to get one was a bonus.
See you next year. Date of review: October 15, 2006
In short: More of an event than a race. In full: Scenery: Couldn't really see as there was so many peolpe around me! What I did catch was OK. Missed the Tyme bridge, stuck in the middle with no view at all.
PB potential: No chance unless yo are in the very front. By 1 mile there were people walking in the middle of the road, all with Orange numbers. If you're gonna walk that soon then you should be further back at the start. Atmosphere: Fantastic. Never been to such a well supported event. Orange pieces, biscuits, unofficial water stops, hoses and soooooooooo many high fives. Unlikely to be bettered. Organisation: This event may have gotten a bit too popular. As a race it's too big. As an event/charity fundraiser it's perfect. If you want to run it as a race then you may well be dissappointed. i was. But I know better now and will stick to smaller races. Value: Nice T-Shirt, good medal, a few bars and a host of leaflets. Useful bag. OK, better tha some, worse than some. Beginner-friendliness: Definately, do this as a first and you will be converted to running.
From a personal point of view it was a PW, but i had no expectations of getting a PB so perhaps I shouldn't complain. My first (and probably last) GNR so to find so many less serious runners doing the course was a shock. All the halves I've done before were races not events. I'd been warned about the numbers but ignored the advice and did it as an experience. But to find groups of people holding hands and walking at 3 miles was a shock. The organisers have a hard job so to expect every person to accurately provide a time they hope to do and keep to it is not their fault but I feel that anyone with no half experience should either do another half first to get an accurate time so they are not fooling themselves or start in front of those who are acknowledged as walkers.
But then again, it's not a race, it's an event/experience. Date of review: October 2, 2006
In short: Hilly and hot but worth the effort. In full: Excellent organisation, well run at the start and the finish (a tad crowded if I'm REALLY picky) but all in all very good.
On the course I would like to see bigger/brighter mile markers, I missed more than i saw. But plenty of water stations, those who use Lucozade were well catered for (I'm an SIS bloke though!!!). Any chance of sponges?
I should be back next year. Date of review: September 10, 2006
In short: Too hot to go off late morning, needs a 9AM start In full: For a small event I was very happy with the level of organisation. Despite the heat (pleasepleaseplease consider an earlier start) I was on for a PB till I stopped to help a lad with mild heat exhaustion. TBH I'd have liked to see more StJohns on the course and not just at the start/finish, the problems were going to be out on the course, not at the gate!! Water at 2 and 4 was welcome but could you move the sponges to the TOP of the hill?
Nice bag, better use than a T-Shirt, i have somewhere to put my sweaty clothes after races now!!!
Lots of club runners keeping to themselves, need to integrate more with others.
Oh, and spot prizes rather than a raffle?
I'll look for it next year but I doubt I'll take holiday from work to attend. Date of review: July 16, 2006
In short: HILLS HILLS HILLS and more HILLS!!!! In full: First half but I'm local so I knew the course was hilly. The start needed a bit more organisation or at least a louder bull horn. maybe more speakers from the lower car park? Water in cups is a drag but bottles cost more, shame as walking through water stations nearly cost me my target. The hill at 9miles was rough but not as bad as it had been made out, ran it all. The flat bits on it were a welcome respite. The bridge makes it special, very friendly locals and supporters make it an event worth coming back to. Needs more toilets but that's a problem at ALL races!!! I'll be back next year, can someone book the same breeze for 2007 please? Date of review: June 25, 2006
In short: Well worth the 160mile round trip! In full: I had a great time, very friendly locals, great brass band at the start and jazzy band at 3miles. Hilly but evens out with the downhills. I don't like hills but I had no prbs on this despite reservations. Got a PB too!!! Prob do again if work falls right. Date of review: April 30, 2006
In short: First ever race, really enjoyed it. In full: Had a great feeling to be amongst so many other like minded individuals. the course was fine, the uphills were hard but were compensated by the downhills! The finish on the stadium track was a nice touch. Good showers, changing and lockers.
Downside: Why move the start up the hill 2 mins before the race? A tad confusing.
But I'll definately be back next year, if only for the sentiment of it being my first race. Date of review: March 19, 2006