Lived in Barcelona until last year and ran it twice and my wife ran it again this year.
It's a great marathon, the first part and the last is a little uphill, but it goes past all the sights and it well organised
Is there left luggage facility at the start? Yes very close to the start and it's easy to get your bag afterwards. It's in the same place as the expo which again is very close to the start
Expo arrangements? rock up before 6pm on Saturday and you and 1 guest get to have free pasta (in reality, you need to be there before 3:30 for the pasta. Many people will speak English if you cannot muster. Soy Ingles quiero dorsal 32813
Good spectator points? Yes many, Placa espana is where the start is and just walking you can see people at 4km, 11km and then if you want, get a metro across the city to 26km and then back for the finish.
Travel to start / from finish? Same place
Be good to get any advice from any Barcelona vet's
Hotels / AC Sants, Gran Torre Catalunya or Expo hotels are wihtin 300m of the start whish is also the expo.
Food - Just ask for what you want in the restaurant, but be warned, restaurants usually open at 2030 apart from the very tourist areas
From the airport / Get a T10 ticket which gives you 10 journeys for less than 10 Euros. This train stops at Barcelona Sants which is next to the 3 hotels above
Temperature - Anywhere between 10C and 22C, but likely to be 17C, so pretty good.
The race - Water stops are very good, crowds are improving and the pacers are every 15 minutes... they are not always perfect on pacing, although the 3 hour pacer with the child in the buggy (yes he has done this for the last 3 years) is spot on. The 3:45 pacers were not so hot this year. 2:45 were pretty good too.
In the first 6 months of 2011, I spent most of my time in Geneva and ran down by the lake every morning. From the Swisshotel, it´s 2.5 miles to the petrol station (on the way towards the airport) and 2.5 miles from the swisshotel to the bus stop on the hill going the other way.
I did not find a club to join, but I was able to pack the miles in. You can also run through the park at times but it does close quite early some days
From the airport: Cab should be €30 max to town including €1 per bag in the boot and €3:10 for an airport run. Alternative is to get the train. Buy a T10 ticket for €9.25 which buys you 10 journeys around the city. Buy one and pass it back to your friend/partner (perfectly legal) Pickpockets are on the trains and Las Ramblas, but normal precautions and you´ll be fine.
Stadium tour - It´s quite good.... The trophy room is excellent and you get to go down to the duggouts which is always nice. It will not be open on a matchday, so check if BCN are away this weekend or go on the other day (They play Saturdays when the champs league is a Tuesday) We did not go for the audio guide as there are plaques in different languages explaining what happens when.
Alternative: If you´ve been to the Olympic stadium which is free to get into and takes about 10 mins to look at, there is the olympic museum about 50 metres away (follow the athletes footprints) and for €3 its a very good hour looking at old sports equipment and a few videos. You can also do the long jump and high jump challenges
starting pens People are pretty good about where they start and I just jumped in from the side late on last year. There are pens all the way to over 4 hours as I recall
Toilets - there will seem like very few toilets, but the Spanish do not seem to need them as much as us Brits. There will be queues, but they are usually ok. Take your own paper!!!
I´ll be supporting with TJQ as well. I´ll be on my white fixie and hoping to see a few Brits out there. Toughen up for 30-35km as there are not too many supporters at that point.
And Dan... I still need to buy a shirt... I´ll do it Saturday night assuming we get a new computer Saturday. TJQ wants one as well