I take 2 x 400/100mg per day - I have no idea if it actually works or not. I'm on other medication and my consultant recommended a break of a couple of months because of side effects. As I was about to go on holiday I also stopped the G+C and osteocare bone supplements I also take to save the hassle of taking it all on holiday with me. After 2-4 weeks my knees were giving me all sorts of trouble and hampering my running. After about 4-6 weeks I went back on everything as the 'break' hadn't relieved the side effects from my prescribed meds as hoped. It was only then my knee pain disappeared. I didn't make the connection at first but there was nothing else really to attribute it to. It could have been just coincidence but I've stuck with it and no further problems since. (My other meds are nothing to do with bones/joints etc.)
I've been taking G+ C for quite a few years. I stopped for a few weeks (holiday etc) and my knees started giving me all sorts of gip. Went back on it and pain cleared up within a few days. Doesn't really prove anything but in my case it does seem to have some affect. I must admit I was quite surprised at the time!
Both my daughters attended after school athletics club at primary school, it was run by external providers so not free, but the coaches were budding elites doing their 'giving back to the community' bit. It was lots of fun whilst incorporating the basics of good training practice so they both think it's normal now to warm up properly with a few drills, stretch etc before/after exercise. The eldest now 17 had Mo Farah in her coaching team and the younger Scott Overall - we are in SW London so lots of elites around - pretty cool tho
I cut the feet off my Karrimor compression socks and wore the leg bit with my lovely Balega socks for Brighton marathon. Don't really get on with calf guards cos they rub my ankles but this worked a treat - comfy legs + comfy feet
I wouldn't bother with the start, it's so busy with runners that anyone else just gets in the way. You're still fresh and with the adrenaline the first miles fly past. My lot started at Bermondsey at 11 miles, big long road with good views and it was a good mark to aim for. Phil's suggestion for 15/20 miles is excellent. Carry something like a balloon or sign high on a pole that is easy to see or you'll miss each other. Never ever say 'you're nearly there'. Tell runners they're looking good, or looking fresh, or just a bit more than 'well done'. Have a contingency if it all goes wrong cos you may not get a mobile signal. Have a great day!