purely for questions on the GNR - all discussions on the event head into the GNR thread on this forum.


  • Advice extracted from the GNR thread so far!!

    Getting to the start!

    Obviously depends where you are coming from but….

    “I live just outside of Middlesbrough, and leave around 7.30am to get to the start.”
    “Whitley Bay is serviced by the Newcastle Metro so getting to the start etc wont be a problem. i would suggest going to This shows a map of the metro and you can see just what a wide area is covers”

    “I've ran this the past 2 years and haven't found the traffic too bad. Both times I've parked in the Gallowgate car park (right next to St James Park), if you get their between 8:30 and 9 there's plenty of spaces. It's about a 15 minute walk to the start from here.”

    “Last year I parked at Heworth metro station and took the metro to the start. Took about 20-30 mins, no problems”

    “We always park at the finish, get there around 8.30 ish. get a shuttle bus to the start - no problems and lots of chatter on the bus. Walk to the start about 10 mins from the bus drop off point.”

    “Don't park on the field at the finish if you want to get away reasonably quickly. There are car parks in South Shields town centre which allow a quick(er) get away. You will need to be in South Shields no later than 0800 to get a space. The car parks are approx 15 mins walk from the finish and 5 mins walk to the Metro station.”

    “what i've done in the past is get my wife and daughter to drop me off at where the buses are waiting in south shields and go in from there (takes about 25 mins) my wife meanwhile goes back about along the seafront to the car parks a mile up from the finish( the 12 mile point of the race) she then has a walk along the beach and coffee etc while the day unfolds. its a long walk back to car with tired legs after but can miss the worst of the traffic.”

    “having done the GNR a few times I have found the best option is to park at the finish in Shields, get there early though, get the shuttle bus to the start, you can run back to Shields while your wife can get the Metro back
    just passing on the experience of 12 GNR's and having the local knowledge of how to get away from the finish quickly”

    Where does it start and what’s the route?
    “Race starts on the A167 at Spital Tongues (approx 1.5 miles north-west of the Tyne Bridge). The central train station is about 1 mile south of the start area.”

    “there's a metro station just near the train station and the nearest stop to the start is haymarket”

    “Start is on the central motorway, somewhere. Just follow the crowds! Along the motorway (A167M) towards the Tyne Bridge. The 2 sides merge just before the bridge then over the bridge and a left turn onto the A184. Crowds thin out here. Just before mile 6 it's a left turn down the slip road and onto the A194. Then it starts to get busier as you wind towrda the A1300 then finally onto the coast road - the A183.”

  • Where should I start?
    “Left side of the dual carriageway (your left if you're running) went out much quicker last year. i was right at the very very back of the right last year and it took 18 minutes to cross the start!!”

    “I was there last year. the starting wave is different every year. they let so many go from each side at a time. it's just a lottery which ones get away fastest. with 49,000 runners in the wind it takes a while to get everyone past the start line. we were about half-way back on the off-side and we took 22 minutes to get to the start line after the gun. it depends who has pushed their way up front as many people ignore their ability timing markers and get as far up front as poss to get across the line quicker.”

    “dont think it matters which side you start if a chip is being used. also with the course being full of slow, slow, quick, quick, slow runners no point in looking for a fast time or a personal best unless you start with the elite runners cos more than likely you'll get caught up in the main bunch of fun runners anyway. Just sit back and go with the flow and enjoy the event rather than running a time”

    “wife started fairly far back on the left her first time and the whole of the right was empty before she crossed the line. She started on the right last year but didn't like going over the flyover. A lot of people do prefer the left like her.
    On the left you have a few hundred celebs causing a bottle neck. On the right are the elites, then those who have ran 10+ GNRs. I would expect less congestion on the right, but maybe the left is more even running. Both sides are a battle ground with runners starting too far forward getting in the way of faster runners. The chips might help a little, especially for those at the back who magically lose 20 mins on their times.”

    “I prefer the right because it goes over the flyover. It's more open, I found going underneath more claustrophobic when I first ran GNR. ……, it's down to preferences.”

    “you need to get much further forward than the pace boards suggest to avoid frustration. Don't expect a PB (unless this is your first half anywhere)”

    Along the way….

    “Each mile and every 5km are marked on the route. You will see a sign, plus the exact distance is marked with a short white line on the road. The signs can sometimes be separated from the exact marking.”

  • When its all over!

    Finding family and friends

    “Meeting points labelled A-Z at the finish where you can meet your friends and family. just dont rely on getting away quickly!”

    “Go for Z as its empty!”

    Getting away from the finish

    “one thing i learnt last year is not to arrange your travel using the metro. i parked by the start line and intended to get the metro back after the race. when we got to the metro station the queue was about a quarter of a mile long! we waited about 3 hours in the queue. not want you want to be doing after just running 13 miles!”

    “At the finish don't hang around for too long, it's about a 20 minute walk to South Shields train station. There can be a bit of a queue here, depending on when you get there but the trains back to Newcastle are very regular (you can buy your tickets the day before). Once back in Newcastle I've always gotten away without any problem however, I've always been going Westbound rather than down the A1.”

    “Traffic fine out of the toon, even down the a1, but its getting back there we've always had a problem with. never tried walking out! but the buses to the metro station take v long time, get stuck and very hot - peeps puking etc, and the metro's get so full you cant get on, unless you're there early. but getting the car out of s.shield is def v difficult.”

    “I had to sit in a Nirvarna coach, completely stationary, for about an hour, then another hour as it crawled to the drop-off point, and then half an hour in the car til traffic was moving anything like normally. My advice would be to try to just go-with-the-flow, expect it to take forever, and have plenty of nice food and drink with you.”

    “I've walked to the ferry terminal from the finish for three years now. The first year the queues were huge, but the sun was shining and the atmosphere was good. They do shift people very quickly though, even long queues move quickly. Last year and the year before I didn't hang around very long after collecting my goody bag. The queues were much shorter. I would definitely recommend this way of getting away from S Shields, even if your destination is South.”

    “After we got our goodie bags, grabbed a quick cuppa in the charity tent (still the best cuppa I've ever tasted!) and headed straight to the metro and back to Heworth. The metro queue was about 30-40 mins and there was no traffic to speak of on the roads heading south. The year before we parked at Sunderland/Stadium of sh1te and did the same - same result, no problems. I guess we were at the metro in South Sheilds inside of 2:30 after the gun, but this seems to work well and we'll definitely be doing the same this year.”

    “Metro from S Shields will be a nightmare, HUGE queues I tend to walk to the Passenger ferry and cross to N. Shields - the walk helps prevent/lessen aches and pains later, you get to stroll past the massive queues and there's a handy pub on the other side of the river. Reward yourself for your efforts there before getting metro from N Shields into the city”
  • Don't forget - green ribbon to identify you as a forumite!

    LL - fab bit of cut and paste - well done!
  • One word of advice about the Metro. Last year, I missed the 8a.m. train, and the next one never came until 8.30a.m. That train was absolutely heaving and if I had been 1lb heavier would not have got on. I was at Shire moore station which is a good way out too. The moral of the story is, get an early train because some runners didn't get on the 8.30 train so I dont know if they made the start or not.
  • How far is the race?
  • now, now, Barnsleyrunner if you don't know the answer to that then you should hand back your elite number immediately!
  • Also from the other thread:

    Top tips on things to pack for the weekend & on the day

    Green Ribbon
    Number (filled in)
    saftey pins
    chip & strap
    clothes to wear before race & leave at side of road - old sweatshirt & jogging bottoms etc
    food & drink for while waiting at start
    Tissues for weeing in trees
    Nirvarna wristband & info

    bag to leave on baggage bus (with completed label) –
    change of clothes & shoes (in case v wet)
    deoderant wipes
  • What do us gents have to do with the bra???
  • 'scuse my ignorance but what is a pace band, and please don't tell me I should have one.
  • what a sheltered life you've lived mick!! ;-)
  • Where's best to be buying green ribbons from and where's best to wear it?

    By the water station between the toilets & the luggage info cabin just behind the white start
  • Cinders - got my green ribbon from the market and will tie it in my hair and round my shoulder straps.

    MEETING TIME - 9.30am??
  • Serious question...

    Is the course marked in miles or kms?
  • Course is marked in miles up to 12, then 800m to go, 400 etc.

    I've run it twice, both times I've stayed with relatives in Ponteland and been dropped off at the start, at the first of the baggage busses. My plan was to get there around 90 min before the start, drop my bag in the first bus (those 100m further along had a queue, the first ones were clear), then make my way along the right of the start to the front of the orange numbers, just behind the area reserved for the 10+ runners. The right side because if you go to the left you'll be behind the celebrity runners eather than the elites. All I have at that stage is a bin liner, throwaway old sweatshirt if its cold, newspaper to pass some of the time and a water bottle for pre-race hydration or for peeing into under the bin liner. Find a space at the front & chill out for an hour, trying not to get too annoyed at the latecomers who squeeze into the front just before the start. When the marshalls remove the barriers to merge the runners behind the elite starters, move forward through the 10+ runners (who aren't very tightly packed and don't seem to mind if you're polite & don't push). Last year I ended up around 3 rows behind the start line.

    After the finish, which is on the road if you're under 1:20 or so, I collected my bag then walked/jogged to the metro, with the only problem being the people still arriving at the finish on the incoming trains. Train back out to Ponteland, shower & change and I was on a flight back to Gatwick early afternoon and home for tea.

    Basically if you're a faster runner you can get away from the finish without too much delay.
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