"Compare the credentials of the runners at any major marathon with the actual results, and you see that running up to your potential on any given day is a very low-odds proposition."And this is what makes the marathon so tough - everything needs to go near perfectly:
- training for months without injury
- don't get sick near race day
- have good weather on race day
It's not like a 5k where you fail this week, so you can just try again next.