Mike yes - after last year where I did exactly what you did this year and went off to quick. This year went off at 7:45 pace and when Spring hill came I was ready for it and went up it at 8:35 pace and better still could then immediately pick the pace back up again at top. My last 5 miles was a minute quicker than my first and my last mile was 6:58 so I obviously got something right this year. Not a PB but a good 1:41. there again my PB was at Lydd!!
Andy - No there are no showers at end. Re: the Metro your wife should have no issues getting to end but it will be busy. My wife has done it before on several occassions and even got off at 2 stops to see me run by and then got back on again and then to end - however she said that was busy. Last year she simply got metro to gateshead Stadium and watched us go by there and then got Metro to finish and saw us there.