Richard, I agree that 2 hours is too much. Last year we turned up about an hour before (used the train in from Chelmsford) and had time to use the facilities, find a spot for the family in the stadium, line-up and still hang around before the warm-up started.
Well I've read enough good stuff over the past 500 pages to jump in and put my name down for Paris 2015. Did Berlin last year as my first ever marathon so really looking forward to this one. Day after my birthday though, so could be fun...
On a slightly related note, can VLM introduce a box you tick when you apply to say "don't send me the rejection magazine, just e-mail me and save yourself some pennies (and donate them to charity instead)...?
I did this race last year as my first ever marathon and really enjoyed it. Stayed at Hotel BelAhr am Potsdamer Platz in a one-bed apartment. About a 10-15 minute walk to the start, lots of restaurants around and quite easy to get to the Expo to pick up my number as well (try to go on the Friday though), so couldn't ask for more really.