I did this two years ago in about 1.47 - so was very pleased to come in at just under 1.40.
Got off to a shocking start - I didn't see that the pens were divided into two, so I started off in the middle of the second pen - was a real pain running through the park at the start, I ended up going under the barrier so I could run rather than walk. They really need to reconsider the start ?
Was glad of the rain though, especialy at the hilly part around the 6 mile mark !
Also glad I didn't use the bag drop - one of our group did, he was still queueing when we left 1/2 an hour later - bit of a joke how undermanned that was.
But would like to thank all the marshalls, were plenty out on the course, can;t have been much fun for them standing in the rain.
Overall - would I do it again ? Probably, but mainly only as it's local......
I can only speak highly of the service I've had from Sweatshop - my sports physio felt the achilles tendonitis was more the fact that I'd upped the mileage / one of those things that can just happen, rather than an issue with trainers and he said that the trainers I'd been given by Sweatshop were exactly the right sort for my build and running style.
I had this about 18 months ago - the best thing for it is to get one of the exercise bands and do resistance training - your physio should recommend these to you. I didn't run for about two months, even then it was a slow build up, running 2-3 miles only. Meant I had to give up a place in VLM. On the bright side, no probs since, and recently did my first marathon in Barcelona !
So my experience is you need to think long term - I've missed loads of races over the past few years, there's always plenty of others, so do your exercises and gradually get back into it, otherwise you could have long term problems.
Might also be worth getting gait analysis and new trainers as well