I live not far from the course and ran it as a training run last Sunday. Living round here it is no worse than a normal training run i don't think. If you are running it for the first time I wouldn't be too bothered if your first mile was a tad fast. At mile 3 there is a nice long downhill section that could ruin your race if you take it a too fast. It's then basically steady up hill from mile 7 ish to mile 10, some bits steeper than others. At 10 miles if you still have a push in your legs then my advice would be to go for it. As Keggi says, for the most part you are really exposed so I'd make the best use of the wind whilst its behind you and try to stay in someones shadow when you going into the wind.
I entered the competition this year, after a nightmare training for and running VLM this year I really want to have a good go at a good for age time. Ran (hobbled) the VLM last year with ITBS in 4.16 and have recently completed a half in 1.31 with no training but would love to know how to train properly and try to injury proof yourself! Looking forward to the results coming out now!
New to forum-ing but looked at this forum prior to the last GNR and remember it being of great help, it also added to the excitement in the build up to the event as it was my first half marathon!
I signed up to do it again this year and in my training for the VLM I totally forgot to get accommodation sorted. Does anyone know of anywhere close to Newcastle with vacancies available? Or have you get any advice to help get something sorted, close to transport links would help as I don't have a car at the moment!