So here are a few thoughts for you (or how I mentally approach it). The first step in doing any event is the mental commitment to knowing you are going to finish. It's simply a decision you must make. After you have made that decision, then it's time to slow things down in your mind and put together a smart ride strategy. Probably the most important strategy, for everyone but those riders with an amazing base, is to not go crazy at the start. Begin the ride at a pace that seems easier/slower than you think you should be going. Adrenaline and the excitement of the start of an event are evil tricksters that can later go on to cook your goose. Ride your own pace or try to ride with a group that rides the same pace as you. Make sure you eat and drink regularly. If you don't provide fuel for your fire, you will regret it later. Don't forsake aid stations or necessary refueling at food marts along the way. Be smart, it's your body and you need it to get to the finish.
Most of you don't need these words, but some of you need some peace of mind. The mind is an amazing thing. It can get you to the finish, or it can talk you out of finishing. But you can finish, and you will. It's all in your head.