Well done guys & gals - some great running and inevitable tales of a near miss or two.
Brief resume for me 2nd VMLM (6th mara in all now).
Followed the 3 hr pacer from green start but figured he was too hot after 4 miles so backed off and let him go. Through HM in 1:30:17, less than a minute behind where I wanted to be.
By mile 22 or so I was right back up with all three 3hr pacers and in fact went through the bus - it was just too messy and crowded to stick with them.
Then ran like a scared rabbit wondering if this huge train of people would hunt me down near the finish.......pleased to say they didn't and I crossed the line in 2:57:44, a negative split by 2 mins 50 secs and an improved PB
1st V65 age division by about 10 minutes. Possibly UK No1 V65 2015
Bonus: on the way back to our bus I spotted Paula Radcliffe & family near St James' park and was able to congratulate her on her stellar performance and of course her career. She now knows she also inspired me and so many others with her amazing exploits!
Good luck Tom - hard yards are done. Stay focused, execute the plan and you will have a 2:xx:xx to savour for the rest of your life anytime a marathon is mentionned....sure you'll make this the first of many.
Tom - many people find predictors optimistic but I think this is code for "maybe I'm not as fit as I need to be". Remember these are often based on conversion times from elite/sub-elites so depending on where they are in the pecking order they may struggle.
Second point: if you try and compare a 1 mile or 5k time to a marathon prediction the margin of error must be huge. Obviously a HM time on a similar coursewould provide a better comparison
Finally, I would imagine the predictors work on even splits - if you burn your matches in the first 10 miles they can't help and of course, if you are a "super-converter" (can pull off negative splits), they may not be very accurate either!
Short answer - a guide, and I would imagine that more races have been ruined by people "believing" the prediction rather than the other way round.......no evidence, just a hunch.