I have done the marathon this year and also in 2012. Luckily for us my other halfs relatives have a place out there and keeps the cost down. It's a great race and day out in the sun. Next year there are 5 of us going, the number slowly creeps up because we make a long weekend of it.
Some tips which we have learnt are:
1. When flying over choose the cheapest days which are thursday and sunday or monday coming back. It's worth spending some time to acclimatise to the temperature. We fly from Manchester and have chosen Easyjet this time around.
2. Hire a car there. The driving is just the same as in the UK with an added spice of Italian road rage now and then but it's worth it so you don't rely on the public transport.
3. If you want to save money getting to your hotel you can get the bus from the airport to most places on the island. We stay in Buggiba and it normally takes about an hour via Valetta.
4. Picking your race number up is in a shopping centre. It is worth going about 20 minutes early and queuing before the doors open otherwise you could be waiting for a while. Also you could arrive with 10 minutes to spare in the evening and pick it up then when it is quiet.
5. If you have friends who want to come along to watch they can get a water taxi over from Valetta to the finish line so if they don't fancy standing all day waiting for you they can go for a wander down the historic streets before they meet you.
6. The marathon starts early so bring something warm to keep on until the start. I usually have a bin bag to keep me warm
7. It's surprising how warm it gets so early in the morning. If you are not keen on the sun battering down on you whilst running use a hat(And put on sunscreen)
8. Last but not least(Most Important of all) You need a good place to relax once you have finished your run. The terrace bar which is a short walk from the finish do excellent food and some good european beers. We usually spend the rest of the day in here before heading back home.
Hope to see you over there running and if you need any more info on Malta don't hesitate to ask.