This is a similar situation that I had. I wanted to run my first marathon in under 3:55 (so i could win some money), but they only had a 3:50 and a 4:00 pacing group.
I went with the 4:00 group which was a 9:10 mile pace because I knew that I could run comfortably at that pace and if I had anything left towards the end, then i could pick up the pace.
Well, I ended up leaving the pacers around mile 8 and they caught up to me around mile 18 and eventually left me around mile 21 because my the balls of my feet were hurting. I ended up finishing in 4:07:55.
So, my advice is to pick a group that you can run at a comfortable pace and stick with that group because its a LONG race. If you have anything left at mile 23 or 24, go for it!
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