If everyone took the attitude that they should never do something because they've never done it before very little would ever get done. Who would invent anything? (I'm not an inventor!) In fact, the species might not even be able to perpetuate itself, because...never mind.
I ran my first marathon at age 46. I was the kid in high school who was picked last for sports teams. Competitive sports of any sort were to be avoided. After high school I took up running as a healthy activity that didn't require a team to do. I also found it relaxing.
Eventually the urge to compete overtook bad memories. I wonder how many of the jocks from yesteryear could run 10 miles now, let alone 26.2.
If you're in reasonably good shape there's no reason you can't do it. Just do it intelligently! There's a lot of good advice on this thread and I can't improve on it.
Also, now I've never been a top contender in the all of two marathons I've run, so I don't know what it's like at the front of the pack. (I'm working on it!) I can tell you that further back your competitors are also your cheerleaders. Everyone wants everyone else to finish, and when you cross that line, everyone will be happy for you. But it's nothing compared to how good you will feel about yourself.
Finally, go to the "first marathon" section of this website, where you'll read about unlkely marathoners who did the 26.2. You'll read about overweight/smokers/sedentary/substance abusers who made much bigger lifestyle changes than you'll need to make.
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