Sometimes everything falls into place, despite a few minor hiccups. (One was that I found out two days before the race that my left shoe was torn. With no other marathon-capable shoes in my collection, I bought a new pair the day before the race - breaking one of the cardinal rules not to try anything new on race day. But I did buy the same type of shoe I had done my training in and used the old insoles.)
The weather was spectacular: chilly, sunny and dry. The course was amazing, gently rolling and with amazing ocean and mountain views. A fantastic organization and friendly positive volunteers also helped confirm my positive frame of mind.
I'll post a race report later. For now, I'll just tell you that I crossed the finish line in 3:07:10 - a 98-second PB. Pretty happy.