Hitting the wall- how to get to the finish line

Richard asks:

When a first time marathoner hits the wall and reaches the point that he can no longer run. What should be done in order to reach the finish line?

Lee's response:

Hi Richard,

It is tough running your first marathon when things don't go to plan and you hit the wall. Once the body shuts down it becomes a real mental challenge.
Once your pace slows and you can no longer run, it is best to keep walking. Look ahead and focus on points in the distance that you can try to challenge yourself to try and make. Break the distance down with what is left into smaller segments. Get some fluids into you at the drink station (they may even have energy gels) and once you have calmed down, try to start running again. It will be hard but just like when you started walking, look ahead into the distance and make a concerted effort to run to it and once you do and you feel like you can't run again, start walking and keep doing this till the end.
You may find that is was just one rough patch you went through and you can resume, it may mean that you are tired and cannot run but focus on achieving small goals rather than focussing on how far you still have to go.