SK - all the posts I've read re the wrist HRMs say that measuring RHR is accurate, the problem comes when you're running and particularly when changing pace. By all means ask your neighbour I think you need reassurance.
There's always been advice about carrying your race kit on board but I'll just risk it for now! One day my luggage may not turn up but that's not the end of the world, there's always another race if I can't buy replacement kit in time.
Eleta - good to hear the HRM training is going well. Have you done a maximum heart rate test or do you already know your max?
Most of my European races outside of the UK have been in Ireland! I've done a total of 57 marathons and ultras in Ireland.
Re Italy I have done Florence marathon twice and absolutely loved the place, the food and the marathon. I was very tempted to go back again this year but ran out of budget. That's the only one I've done in Italy and I do plan to go back.
I've also done Berlin, Ljubljana and Budapest.
I want to do Budapest again, will probably go back next year.
I'm signing off now for the weekend, unless I have Wi-Fi to use and the time to use it. I have to be at the airport for 5 a.m. tomorrow morning and it's an 85 mile drive to the airport so very early morning for me, so need to pack etc. today and better have an early night.
Good luck to all racing this weekend.
KK - hope to see you at the weekend, if I don't see you at the start I may see you in the food tent at the finish if your brother finishes roughly the same time as I do.
SK - how about an overseas marathon instead, or maybe another in the UK instead of London? There are some lovely marathon races to do and there is a lot less mental pressure to 'perform well' when you're racing away from home. I know you love London marathon but running marathons elsewhere is a great experience and so enjoyable.
I hope you decide on the base training, it really is a good chance to get the mileage up with very little injury risk and it's stress free training.....except for your HRM of course. Which Garmin do you have? It might be possible to get a chest strap and link it with your HRM.
When travelling to races I've never worn my race shoes and only once carried them in my hand luggage ( the only time I hadn't booked a hold bag). I hate carrying stuff around and don't travel light so just put it in the hold, so far no lost luggage but I guess it might happen one day.
Amazing what they can make shirts out of these days! My 2nd favourite race shirt is made from recycled plastic bottles.
Steve - enjoy Berlin. We had a great time there, thanks to Emmy who guided us around the transport system