@LogicScience it's not far really, but the route to both car parks from TP crosses (not surprisingly)/coincides with the last bit of the race course. Walking back you get to cheer on the last finishers, which is nice providing you can hobble out of their way
@lowrez - the knee is as crumbly as ever, though my one-legged squat is now at least recognizable as such. Am off to see the mildly forbidding sports doc again in about a month, and because it seems quite common for people to say "have you tried ...[thing they told you not to do]" at these sorts of appointments, I have been tail-running for the club's couch-to-5k courses twice a week. So together with the "run" bits of the local circuits class, I am now running a grand total of about half an hour a week!
Needless to say I am noticeably rounder than I was...
@Danirr was that round Hoover Dam? Lovely. Did a marathon (calico races iirc) there on hols a few years back - really enjoyed it - which was a good job as a) I'd not recovered from my A race a few weeks back and b) I'd had a Thai takeaway the night before (!) so between those two factors I was out there for a good long while! Got to run and chat with Larry Macon too, which was interesting.
@OldShadowFax bloomin FB keeps on death-tagging me with old pictures of me running at Malta in years gone by (mutter mutter). Usually there is some scheme where you sign up to something on FB with your race number and get your race pix posted free to your FB timeline (I should add there are a number of free wifi hotspots e.g. opposite the Sliema ferries by the little tree-lined square with the coloured fountains or in the shopping area by the tea-party statue). (I hear there is now a Sri Chinmoy statue up in Sliema too!).
NikC, a good approximation would be to take a well undulating marathon like say Halstead or Sussex, then stick Box Hill under it five times, then tilt up or down depending on whether it's an Up or Down run. There's nothing very steep and even at the back it's possible to run the whole thing, should you feel like it(albeit not necessarily fast). However there's only a handful of actually flat kms - 1 or 2 at the start and finish, and iirc maybe 1 or 2 at Harrison Flats. (Feel free to put my dodgy memory right, SlowDuck).
I dunno - depends on a number of factors. I did Abingdon as my first which was as local as you can get (I live 1km from the start) and indeed it was low hassle, but the support is relatively thin and when it all went a bit Pete Tong at mile 17 (not unusual in a first marathon, really), the following 9 (NINE) miles were a bit lonely and grim, soldiering round the fields and suburbs ...
By contrast my second was at Berlin, and the plus-side of "get to visit Berlin" aside, it was cheering Germans every inch of the way and the last 9 miles felt just sooo much easier.
So I'd say for the fast, the lovers of solitude and nature, the mentally strong, a small or medium sized local one is fine for your debut, but sometimes it's worth going a bit further afield for that big-race experience.