Great North Run - REAL Practical Tips From Someone Who Has Done it 7 Times!
Thanks to Isabel who has run this race several times! She provides some REAL advice and practicalities of the reality of dealing with such a MAJOR event in a part of the country that wasn't ever set up to deal with such enormous crowds! Thanks again to Isabel for these nuggets of information, and congratulations on your new course PB this year!
For those of you who haven’t done GNR before…
1. travel on the day is a nightmare. The northeast just doesn’t have the facilities to deal with that many people needing to move around! If you’re travelling by metro from the north side and are claustrophobic - leave early. The trains are jammed.
2. this adds to your day significantly. First time I did it (and I’m local) I left at 7am and didn’t get home until 8pm. I’m now a bit more savvy and left home at around 8.30am. Home (well, pub near home anyway) by 3pm. My earliest finish ever! If you’re staying or living in the city, rather than get the metro back consider getting on the ferry then metro. It’ll probably be quicker, provided you haven’t hung around South Shields too long at the end.
3. you don’t need to carry fuel unless you’re committed to a particular gel. There will be people offering jelly babies, oranges, ice pops, various sweets, biscuits etc the WHOLE way around (second time I did it I ate waaay too much along the way. Actually felt pretty full by the end!
4. the route is hillier than you might imagine (not steep inclines, but long and gradual). It’s also pretty boring. You won’t notice this though, because….
5. the support is IMMENSE. It doesn’t stop. For all 13.1 miles you’ll be cheered and clapped and encouraged. When you get to the sea front at South Shields there’s a wall of sound from the crowds that’ll get you through the last mile!
6. there’s beer just after mile 10. Take it. You can thank me next year.
7. if you’re not from here, consider hanging around for a few days. It’s pretty nice. Northumberland is especially glorious (but let’s keep that to ourselves, yes?)