Wow, that's an amazing write up Tim! Love the details, I can feel your excitement! If this is a reflection of what's to come, I can't wait to read about your training, it will be so educational and entertaining!
Thomas Rann and Cheerful Dave: The VMLM GFA for women (of any age) is sub 3:45. So technically women who have 'quick times' and have GFA may still want to get quicker times, so would fit into sub 3, or even sub 3:30.
Hi Tim, congrats on getting so far in this competition! With you, it's a bit of deja vu a la Malcs!
I had similar issue with timing as you, my marathon time was way off my shorter distances, although I hadn't realised it until I played around with race predictor calculators. When I realised what I should be able to do in marathons, I just believed I can do it, and managed to match my marathon time to my shorter distances! Hopefully asics262 will give you the confidence to get your predicted time !
Karen, that sounds 'fun' running in hailstones and wind - NOT! That's a good time you got there, and you've only got 2 minutes to knock off your PB! Good luck!