I ran the NY Marathon in 1994. By the time I got into Central Park and was near the finish line, I was tired and sore and my mind was saying it was OK to walk. Luckily I said to myself, "No way" and finished.
When I ran it, there were about 33,000 people running it, too. We were in a compound with thousands of people before the race and were corralled into lanes. I remember wanting to start—the tendency is to want to keep up with others—but by doing so, you run the risk of forgetting to pace yourself and then burning out. There are slower people you have to run around but even then you have to be careful, otherwise you will be running a 2nd marathon just running around others! Marathons are a head game! Bill T