Best bet might be to get the bus to the start - More Bus number M2 runs from Poole Bus Station straight through to Pokesdown - if you ask the driver when you get on, I'm sure he'll give you the nod when you get to the best stop.
I'm a local doing the Bournemouth Marathon so to confirm what Mr Bojangles says - the dual carriageway leading in and out of Bournemouth - A338 Wessex Way - (and pretty much the only way in and out of the town) is down to one lane in each direction. It's been causing severe traffic delays during the week so I would imagine that come next Sunday, the traffic will be just as bad so definitely allow more time than you think you will need (if you're too early, you can just fit in an extra portaloo trip before setting off!).
Re the buses - I know there are local buses that will take you from the Pier (where the race ends) back to Kings Park (start and car park) for much less than the money being charged by the organisers. I think it's a Yellow Bus - not sure of the number but if you google it you should find the timetable easily enough. You will be going from Bournemouth Square to Kings Park. Or else a taxi wouldn't set you back a fortune and more convenient/comfortable. United Taxis is the main company in the town centre so I'm sure they could give you an idea of the costs if you gave them a quick call.
Just checked the 14 day weather forecast - currently showing as being light rain and max 17 degrees although I imagine that will change! It's the wind you need to keep an eye on though - running along the sea front sounds very lovely and scenic but if there's wind, it's a b*gger!
I'm really looking forward to it - am gunning for my first sub 4 and researching training plans that target this. Am tantalisingly close at the moment with 4.09 current PB although I knew in my heart I could have done better than that - one of those races where things just don't seem to come together. Especially looking forward to the fact that for the first time ever, I can sleep in my own bed and make my own tea the night before a marathon instead of hotels and restaurants and no travel! Plus loads of support from family and friends which i hope will give me the extra push i need on the day. Intend to use as much of the actual route as I can in my long training runs - especially the hill at mile 18.
I entered the marathon on Friday! I am a local - live in Poole and the route goes past the door of our beach hut twice so thought it needed to be tackled. I know a few of my running club buddies ran it in its inaugural year in 2013 and they all seemed to enjoy it. It's essentially a flat course with just the two hills - general consensus is that if you power-walk up them, they're short enough that it won't damage your time too much.
As previously said, weather can make a massive difference to the route - the first year it was beautiful sunshine and relatively warm for an October weekend, however if it's windy/rainy, many miles along the prom are not enjoyable - trust me, I know!
Looking forward to it though. I did Paris two weeks ago and was really disappointed with my time - had been targeting my first sub 4 and training went really well but on the day it was hot and I came down with a hideous cold/sore throat that evening so the two things sapped my energy and I can in at 4.09. Signed up for Bournemouth to have another crack at it!
While I enjoyed Paris and thought the route was beautiful, I also found that my first experience of a big city marathon left me with the distinct impression that I wouldn't be hurrying back to repeat the experience. I've previously done Rome (c12k runners) and Manchester (c6k runners) and enjoyed both of these much more than Paris. I felt like I was constantly being elbowed, tripped up or almost running into the back of people pretty much the whole way round. I think I ended up running well over the distance after allowing for all the weaving around people. Like you, Les Murmeres, I was getting increasingly annoyed with the walkers in the wood sections strolling down the middle of the path. Even at the finish straight, I was still being jostled around. It was definitely worth the experience and I've learned something from it (as well as just about managing a teeny tiny new PB of 4.09 - which is a whole 1 minute PB!). While I like a certain amount of runners around me for support etc, the sheer volume in Paris overwhelmed me slightly.
I have found myself googling the Seville Marathon this morning. It's the one I wanted to do this year but the training period didn't match well with various family commitments I had planned for the end of last year. I think it's more in line with Rome in terms of runners (13k?) and being held in February it should be cooler than last Sunday! Also claims to be the flattest in Europe (which I thought was Berlin?) and looks pretty picturesque. Anyone done this one before?