Go to the beginners group, go to parkrun (*) and talk to people - make as many friends as you can and listen to their stories. You might be surprised at the number of folk who started out in very similar ways to you.
I take no responsibility for what your new friends talk you into though
(I help do beginners courses at my club now so have seen things from both sides).
(*) Walk /run it some weeks or volunteer or spectate if you're worried about overdoing things
@susiebe1 I followed the last chap in and quite a lot of the stuff had been packed up and some of the marshalls and signs had gone. I've done this race myself twice, finishing in the 4:20-30 range, and even then it was a lonely experience in the second half I can tell you.
I really wouldn't say it was the best race for someone who's not sure they can finish in five hours or less - if I was advising a friend in that position I would suggest going for a different race, and there are plenty of races I *would* suggest. In particular there are several races that from experience I can confirm would suit a 5-6 hour finisher
For someone pretty experienced who was confident of 4:59:59 and was happy with being on their own for most of the race I'd say no problem though.
TBH I don't think start pen make much of a difference - a handful of minutes, roughly the difference between jogging very slowly and walking for a handful of miles. And in Comrades there are plenty of miles...!
I now have a forex-fee-free credit card and I ran over 9 miles on my own yesterday. Guess I should be thinking of signaling up...