Hi, I did the full in 2013. As already stated, there are two laps, but they aren't identical - I'd say the second lap overlaps (excuse the pun) the first lap for about 8 miles. Fortunately you don't go past the finish after 13 miles, the route forks at about 12.5 miles, full marathon goes off to the left and then picks up the first loop again after about 2 miles. It is a bit hilly although what I liked about it was that the hill at 18 miles is the same hill as at 11 miles, so you know what to expect (and it has a fantastic view), and once you are over that hill it is either downhill or flat (and pretty straight!) to the finish. Lots of water stations too. Enjoy!
Shakespeare. £35 so cheaper than plenty of others. One small hill you do twice at 11 and 18 miles, last few miles are pancake flat along an old railway line (so not technically a road but still a hard surface). Nice medal. Scenic, decent sized field, lots of water stations and support in all the villages.
it's happened to me twice now, both within sight of the finish line of a marathon and both times when firstly, I've been chasing a time that was slipping out of reach towards the end, secondly I was very dehydrated (one event still does water in cups which i now know isn't enough for me - and thirdly, despite feeling pretty wobbly for the final 400m, trying to pick up the pace to get things wrapped up. I feel a bit daft in that I hadn't realised after crash #1 that the final push had been one step too far. So my tip for avoiding becoming a casualty, in addition to pacing things correctly and taking on enough fluids, is to resist the temptation to go for a sprint finish! Good luck with your HM!
Abingdon, mid October. (Its north of the M4 but hopefully still south enough for you ). Its full at the moment but they allow number swaps until end of September and there are usually people offering their places throughout the summer. Fast, flat, top quality organisation.