Ran and finished my first (and probably my last) marathon. You get a tremendous sense of achievement - though my legs probably dont agree with it right now.
Felt pretty great by mile 15. Was actually dreaming about possibly iron man triathlon in the future. I had heard about how difficult it gets after miles 18 or 19. How true it was !
I certainly didn't feel that I was closer to GOD, but I sure felt what the proverbial hell must be like. The dreams of a triathlon quickly evaporated as I started having motivational talks with my legs and kept trying to remind them that the brain was boss. I guess my speeches weren't motivational enough.
In the end finishing the complete 26.2 miles required every bit of energy I had and some more, but the joy of finishing a marathon is pretty much unparalled.