Every runner that I tracked on the VLM website today got slower and slower as the race progressed, irrespective of their finish time. Most were club runners aiming at between 3-5 hours. It's well-known that to run an even-pace or slight negative split is the best way to race, but I don't personally know anyone who hasn't slowed down, often considerably.
Two questions: has anyone ever completed a marathon with roughly even splits? How does one select a pace so that this is achievable? I have 5 weeks til my marathon and I'm anxious to get my pacing sorted and learn from others' experience.