Newest Review: ... who offer places by doing an internet search. This is how I got my first ever place in the run. You may still have to pay the entry fee... more
Must do race for regular runners and beginners alike
Great North Run (BUPA)
Member Name: dippycat
Great North Run (BUPA)
Advantages: Incredibly well organised, very beginner friendly
Disadvantages: Expensive, crowded so not a pb course.
This is one of those races that you just HAVE to do!
The Great North Run is the biggest half marathon in the world with 52000 people taking part each year. It takes place in September, starting in Newcastle and finishing in South Shields.
It is expensive to enter (£45 this year), but the organisation is absolutley impeccable. I have done a large number of races and this is without doubt the best organised one I have taken part in. The baggage buses are numbered and it is easy to find them, get your stuff on at the start and off at the end. The end is very well organised and the charity village is a great place to meet the people form your charity, if you choose to run for one, and get a post race massage and food and meet up with friends.
The Great North Run attracts people from all walks of life and all abilities from those who can complete a half marathon in just over an hour to those who walk it. It is an excellent race for beginners because you know you are unlikely to be the last to finish (unlike some other races). I have just talked a couple of my friends into upping their distance to complete this race this year and they have entered and are really looking forward to it now. The time you are running flies by. People line the entire course, playing music, shouting and cheering and handing out everything from jelly babies to oranges and even burgers! Someone described it to me as a 13 mile party and I have to say that I agree! The only bad thing for regular racers is that because of the number of people participating, it is hard to get a personal best (pb), but accept that before you start and you will love it.
A half marathon is not something you can do just by turning up on the day, but there are plenty of places you can look to find advice on training smartly. Runner's World magazine have schedules that you can print off or download to your computer and last year they had a weekly training email that you could sign up to receive.
I am absolutely convinced that anyone can run a half marathon and there really isn't a better one to do. The Red Arrows flying over you during the race and at the end is something I will never forget. My medal is a treasured one and hung proudly on my wall.
Summary: If you are looking for a challenge this year, get entered!
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