Saw a blog post that looks at the final four minutes of an elite runner's first marathon. Basically, a women's half-marathon champion enters her first, goes out way too fast (a 3:20 minute km, and hits the wall big time.
Her strength is amazing in the final bit, when she's going at a 7:20 minute km pace. She falls, I think, three times in the video. It was very emotional watching it if you've ever hit the wall in the marathon.
Also reminded me of an article I read in the Running Times this month, about how running is a massive sport in Japan. Worth reading if you can pick up a copy.