The "club" marathon I planned for December is a bust. I looked at the website again, and read it more carefully (or perhaps with wiser eyes). The race has a five-hour cut-off. Given my time for the half, I don't reasonably expect I can cut 15 seconds a kilometer off my pace and hold it for twice the distance. Maybe I've thrown in the towel too quickly. I just didn't want to set out on a course knowing they would pack up long before I got to the finish line.
I can run instead the 16k "Mackerel" race on the beach at home on 19 December. It's not the same, but the minimum pace is 8:30, which I can do without question. (And there's the split pea soup finish...)
To dig out of feeling down about the busted race plan, I registered for the Rotterdam Marathon 11 April 2010. They have a 5:30 cut-off. The Paris marathon is the same day, but I've been to Paris a lot and can't stand the idea of having to get another medical certificate.