The first 18 miles were great - I was ahead of pace for the 4 hour time. By mile 20 the 4 hour pace group had caught me and I hung with them for 15 minutes or so until it started to feel bad and I had to let them go (I really could have used a couple of 20+ training runs before racing this). Then I had 3 really tough miles on my own with very few people around. It was pretty demoralising to watch the pace group creep away into the distance as I was plodding along.
By about 24 I was feeling better (as it was only 2 miles home) and kicked it in again, but by then I had lost enough time that there was no way I could hit 4 hours. As I got to the home stretch, Liz and the kids were waiting for me and Nick (5) and Anna (4) ran the last 100 yards down the finishers chute with me, which was awesome. All in all, it was a very rewarding run.
I can now run Honolulu (which is in 6 weeks) with no pressure on time etc. - if it's good, great - if it's slow, no problem. thanks, Alan