Have just heard that Purple Patch Running are putting on a training camp for marathon runners on Feb 8th - 10th up on the North Wessex Downs (Wantage) and that if you mention "Fetch" or "Flora First Timers" when making the booking they will drop the price from £175 down to £125. More stuff about the weekend is on their website. See you there!
Hey, the Purple People are putting on another race! I would not worry about the towpath bit too much - the last race these guys put on was along the Thames towpath and it all worked out absolutely fine (and there were floods to deal with there as well). Have just entered and am looking at it for a PB!