first half marathon ever

Just wanted to express my exuberance at completing the great north run. It was a little on the hot side and was a tough race. I wasn't used to running with so many people and all the dodging and speeding up and slowing down which made it difficult to get into any rhythem. It was a lovely relief to see the sea towards the end and after running a great first half slowed down over the second. First time over that distance great atmosphere, great day. Not only did I finish the race, I also got the time i wanted of just under 3 hrs.

19 Replies

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  • Well done marc_read 😊

    It looked amazing watching from the coach..so many runners. Fantastic acheivment.

  • Well done, Marc! It was hot out there, wasn't it. I was fine until the 9 mile point and then the heat started to get to me. I haven't done the amount of training that I intended to do though, because my arthritic knees have been playing up. I finished ok, but was a good 11 minutes slower than last year.

    I don't think that you can try and set a HM pb on the GNR, because of all the other runners controlling your pace. It's the atmosphere that attracts me to this event. Are you coming back next year?

  • Congratulations Adam. So glad you managed to get round in one piece after all you knee worries :)

  • I will certainly put in for the ballet and see if I am lucky again. Will to try and improve my time a bit. If I am unlucky and don't get a place will look for another half marathon instead. I've heard the cumbrian one is very good also like the sound of the coastal one and the keilder one or the bamborough one as well.. have you tried any others that you would recommend...I did the druridge bay 10K and really enjoyed that one.

  • There are lots of other half marathons around. The GNR is a bit different though (well - a lot different). The atmosphere plus the numbers is what makes it special. if you want scenery and don't mind the odd hill the Cumbrian and Bamborough would both be good. If midges are your thing - go for Kielder. For a flat fast HM a lot of people rate Edinburgh. It sounds from your selection you may be North East based. If so, I know quite a few people who enjoy the Sunderland HM.

    Most other HMs are rather cheaper to enter, but often have a different kind of buzz. The entrants tend to be people who enjoy running for runnings sake, rather than people just going for the challenge and to raise money for charity. They are therefore lower profile. These HMs are equally fun to enter, but in a different sort of way.

    You will probably get an email in a few weeks inviting you to join the GNR club, where for a horrendous fee (£50 I think), you get another teeshirt and the opportunity to bypass the ballot for the next 3 years. Think about it. It's expensive, but it guarantees you your slot.

  • many thanks very informative answer....certainly worth thinking about.

  • Do you know of any other HM's ( or maybe a bit shorter - 10 miles, etc) in the UK that are large funruns - not so large as GNR where there is a ballot. But still maybe several thousand runners determined to have a good time rather than qualify for Boston? :)

  • Bazza, you could look at greatrun.org. The GNR is the original, largest and best known of a whole series of events they run on a similar format and, I think, is the only one which has a ballot. They run 11 10Ks, 3 10 milers and 8 half marathons. Alternatively there are events like the London Winter Run which a lot of people here do. After that, look for a Colour Run or a Run for Life event, but these are mainly 5Ks and often tend to be organised by local charities.

    There are ways to bypass the ballot. The obvious one is to have run for a national team 😉 Alternatively, if you can show an affiliation to a country that they haven't got represented (this year they had runners from 178 of the 193 UN registered countries and were desperate for more) or can give them a particularly good back story they will find you a place. Having said that, the story has to be good. Being married to Mo Farah has already been done and probably won't work for next year 😁

  • I was in London for Christmas 2010 - I don't think I will be doing any UK winter running!! :) - but thanks for the suggestion :)

  • Great South Run in Portsmouth is 10 miles - October, I think they still have places if you are over this way.

  • Thanks for that - Portsmouth is my second home in the UK - spent 6 months there with the Royal Navy submarine service in 1979 and have gone back many times. Don't like Portsmouth itself that much but the surrounding area is nice. Must have look at that one!!! Not this October though.

  • Like the sound of that GNR club. My postman said something about it but as they asked if I wanted a ballot reminder thought it must have stopped. Would really like to give it another go and get round in one piece. Did look out for you but you must have been way ahead of me. I think Mo had just about finished before I started!!! Glad you went for it. Hope the knees have recovered.

  • I think they wait at least a month before sending out the invite. They want you to remember the good bits but hope you have forgotten about the pain before they ask. I also got the ballot reminder request even though my GNR membership is good for another couple of years.

    They obviously thought that you were in greater danger of being Mo than I was this year, so they pushed you further down the queue. I'm glad you enjoyed it enough that you want to repeat. Maybe we'll meet up next year.

  • Fantastic! Well done:) it looks like such a great event..

  • Well done and congratulations. An achievement to be very proud of :)

  • Well done Marc , mustve been amazing to take part in such a iconic event .

    Could only watch the highlights but you could feel the buzz of it all through the telly . It looks a brilliant event to take part in .

    Many Congratulations to you and I am so pleased that you had such a great time ! :-) xxx

  • Brilliant!! Well done ;)

  • Well done - you must have been part of that endless walk to the start line with me. Great atmosphere. I hope I can do it again.

  • Brilliant Marc. Very well done!

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