I was hoping a fast person would respond to your query. I'll be running the marathon with you, but probably behind you. I'll offer five suggestions: (1) If the marathon has pacing groups, such as those from Jeff Galloway, then line up with a 4:00 group, go with them for at least 20 miles, and, if you can, kick ahead during the final 10k. (2) The local club may have an informal pace group. That happened this year at Virginia Beach's Shamrock Marathon. If so, introduce yourself to the 4:00 pace leader and ask to join his or her group. (3) Ask the runners at the starting line what their estimated times are, and if you find someone who expects to run in under 4:00, then ask them if they would mind if you joined them or if you drafted them (at 10 yards or so, far enough so that your footsteps don't bother them). (4) If you can't find a pacer, then start out at your 9 minute/mile pace. After a few miles, look for someone near you who has a relaxed stride and seems likely to cruise the remainder of the marathon at that pace. Draft them for the rest of the marathon. (5) Buy a good lap watch and punch it at each mile marker. Keep yourself at a 9 minute/mile pace.
Good luck. I'll look for your bib number and introduce myself.
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