I know from long experience--over 20 years of it--that running marathons is no piece of cake, but it's hard to realize just how more traumatic it is when you're out there for the extra-long run, like four and a half hours. I once ran with a friend in Omaha way back in the pack, taking things slow and easy, and it was one of the hardest I'd ever done, until Sunday's Twin Cities Marathon. Yesterday I finished in about four hours and 27 minutes, with the final 2.2 miles taking me almost a half an hour, and I was "running " the whole time. But slowly.
But I was only slightly behind the average finishing time of 4:20. So there were still a lot of people behind me, coming in at 4972nd of 8535 finishers. The marathon results page here shows a lot of information on each runner, including where you were in the pack. There's even video, where you can watch yours truly come across the finish line. Sadly, my data shows me slipping gradually back through the pack a thousand at a time, with people streaming by all through the miles that went by. I started too fast, hitting the half-way mark at just two hours, and as the race wore on, and my stuffy head and sore throat took their toll on me, I slowed more and more, with a constant wave of runners passing me.
But, there's a good possibility I'll try it again. I may never reach the 3:04 marathon time that stands as my PR, but maybe a Boston qualifying time is still a possibility.