I've nothing to add to the original discussion but just wanted to say that I did enjoy reading about someone who has posted with a specific aim and has actually come back to the thread to say what they did and how it affected their performance! Too many people seem to ask very sensible questions, get people keen to give them useful answers ...then are never heard of again! Very well done, RM6, and keep up the updates!
Reading this thread I am getting the impression that those for whom Po10/RunBritain are the be-all-and-end-all are the minority. These rankings certainly don't feature on my radar when I pick races to do. Echoing Tom77 and Millsy above, it's more important to me that the race is well organised and that I get a result for that race itself (bit wary of "fun runs" that don't publish results, or sometimes just not very meaningful results). I keep track of my own results (times, positions, etc), and just don't feel the need to have a website compare my performance to other people's. Until there is one HUGE database of every race that every runner in every corner of the country has done, surely these sites are not real representations of comparison, given that (for example) someone might have bettered your time in race that, despite being accurately measured and meeting all the criteria, etc, isn't listed on one of these sites. What does that mean to you for your time?!. What do people get out of them, except a niche version of seeing your name in lights?! I don't mean to belittle these sites but I just don't know what the great appeal is.
I've done the Oxford Half only once, in 2011, which I think was its first year, but the thing I do recall was the queue to get parked beforehand - luckily I had got a lift there as in the end I had to get out of the car and jog to the start rather than miss it! I'm quite prepared to believe that they were caught out in the first year and that the parking situation has been sorted, but there's no harm in allowing TONS of time for things like that anyway, at any race. Better to arrive relaxed with time to warm up, suss out the baggage drop, start pens, etc, than have to rush at the last minute and start the race feeling stressed and worn out already.
As far as race etiquette goes, follow the person in front, don't weave about in front of the person behind!, smile at the marshals and they'll smile back at you, run your own race (i.e. at the pace you have trained for, not at anyone else's pace), set yourself a race plan and try to stick to it, try to relax and enjoy yourself and remind yourself that you are doing it for you and for fun, and remember to soak up the feeling of being very pleased with yourself as you cross the finish line and start plotting how to run your next half marathon a few seconds quicker!
Well done on your training in the last few months and good luck for your big race!
To anyone wanting to offload or pick up a 2014 Abingdon Marathon number, I'd suggest that you contact the organisers about what I understand is their official waiting list. Someone I know did this after not getting a response about disposing of a number, and it was all sorted and transferred with a day or so. Seems that people are trying RW forums with little or no success, without considering the official route, so I thought it was worth mentioning!