The world famous BUPA Great North Run has firmly established itself as the UK's biggest run with 56,000 entrants. There is loads of music along the spectator lined course with some of the biggest names in long distance running taking part each year. The two highlights for many runners are red arrows at the start and finish and running across the iconic Tyne Bridge.
The race starts in Newcastle upon Tyne and takes runners through the city centre towards the River Tyne and over the iconic Tyne Bridge, where if you're lucky, you might get a glimpse of the Red Arrows passing overhead. From there runners will travel through Gateshead while being entertained many bands on the run.
The route, lined by thousands of supporters, leads runners to South Shields where at the top of Prince Edward Road the view of the sea is one of the most welcoming sights along the whole course. From that point there is just over a mile to go and the crowds get louder as runners make their way down the final straight towards the finish gantry.
What a brilliant race! It might not be a PB race cos of all the people (although if you got a good start it potentially could be) but it is the best half marathon EVER! The support from the crowds, drinks, sweets, fruit, ice pops, vaseline etc given out on the way round, the charity buses & village at the end, the brilliant atmosphere all make for an amazing day. And there's the chance of getting on the telly! I would definitely recommend this race to anyone who hasn't done it - the route itself is ok, fairly flat although there's a mile slightly uphill towards the end, but it's the biggest and most famous half marathon in the world what more could you want?!
I did this race in fancy dress for the first time last year - and it made for a different and even more enjoyable experience than previous years! I didn't go for a PB, instead ran in fancy dress carying a banner the whole way round in honour of my niece. It was hard work but fun and I got so many shout-outs from members of the public, commentators etc (Rylan of X factor and CBB fame most notably ;)
I felt like a celebrity myself! There is a real camaraderie and feel-good atmosphere about this race which keeps me and many others going back year after year. The course itself is unremarkable, much of it is on a motorway, but it's the entertainment, support, refreshments and other runners that makes it the brilliant experience that it is. The final mile along the coast is pretty exciting, there are supporters lining the route, lots of cheering and shouting, I found myself slowing down as I didn't want it to end! But there's a medal, goody bag, tshirt and a charity village waiting when you do. A couple of hours can be enjoyed wandering around, watching the Red Arrow's display overhead, before catching one of the many buses back to the start. I'm returning to do it all again for the fifth time this year - can't wait!
Love this race! The spectators, entertainment and amazing atmosphere make it well worth doing - I'm going back for the 4th time this year and I can't wait. I've had PBs every year so hopefully another one this time around! :)