I put in 26.23 miles on Saturday morning as a practice run for the real event in October. My first 8 miles were all below an 8 minute 20 second pace which was about 20 seconds too fast for me and unsustainable. If I factor out the time I took when I stopped to put on a clean shirt, get some GU and water, and use the bathroom, I finished the run in about 3 hours 45 minutes and I am very pleased with that.
It will be nice to have a pace group to run with (and all the other stuff going on to keep me motivated) during the actual marathon. It will definitely help to hold me back a bit at the start of the race.