my husband and mum did what Gladrags said last year. They managed to see me at the start, about 5-6 miles in Greenwich as our hotel was there, around Mudchute and then at Westminster before going to the meet and greet bit. They managed all that using the DLR and tube. They stopped at the hotel for a coffee and watched the race on TV as they had a bit of a wait in the middle but didn't find it too difficult.
The fact that you are now doing more running and less walking means that you are improving. It is not all about getting faster when you start out. You will be faster over 9K now than you were a few months ago as you do less walking, even if the pace of the running sections is still the same. As the others have suggested, you need to use interval training for getting faster. Try searching some of the articles on here for information. Essentially it means running faster for a short time and then recovering by slowing down or walking in between and they will feel tough. You can also do tempo runs which are faster than your easy pace but for a shorter duration. None of us can run as fast over 10 miles as they could do 5K for example so you are not unusual. Doing a mix of slow runs, intervals and tempo is what most experienced runners will do every week as it helps maintain interest as well as allowing you to improve and for your body to recover between tough sessions.
Another vote for halo sports wash and if you can't get it (never could where I used to live) then Ariel hygiene also works. I found some of my stuff had an odd sweet sort of smell which is probably bacteria and sweat related. It wasn't horrible just not right.
Stephen - the physio I see works for NUFC. I could actually run at the moment as it is generally not so uncomfortable that I can't run through it, but it just doesn't go away which is concerning.
Andy W - Heworth metro is probably not the easiest to get to if you don't know where you are going and I would imagine that is really quite busy. Four lane ends and Northumberland Park both have multistorey car parks and are only a short distance from the A19. You would use the coast line and you can always come back via the South/North Shields ferry which makes it a much shorter metro journey back.
OS - not that I know of. I'm seeing a good physio and he thought he knew the likely problem and certainly it is really the only thing that fits the symptoms bit it just doesn't seem to be getting better despite doing all the exercises and stretches for it.